Rider Groups Expresses Gratitude in Easing of Restrictions on Back-riding, Commits its Assistance to Enforce Rules on Pillon Riding

Date posted on August 20, 2020
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Date: August 20, 2020

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield has found an ally in the enforcement of the new motorcycle pillion riding rules after a big group of motorcycle riders has committed its assistance to compel as many riders to comply with the health safety standard protocol on motorcycle back-riding.

(PNA File Photo)

Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar, Commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said the Riders of the Philippines which is composed of various motorcycle-riding groups from various parts of the country, has expressed its intention to assist in the enforcement of pillion riding rules as the group welcomed the decision of the NTF on COVID-19 of allowing motorcycle back-riding without barriers for people living in the same household.

In appreciation of this effort, our groups will take part in the Operation Habal Watch and report them to avoid the abuse of this decision and to protect the riding public,” the Riders of the Philippines said in a statement.

Again, we are extending our gratitude and would like to let you know that we are here to work with you for as long as it benefits both sides and does not undermine safety,” it added.

The statement was signed by heads of at least 14 motorcycle rider groups from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

PNA File Photo

In the same letter, the group appealed not to limit the use of head safety gear to full face helmets but PLt. Gen. Eleazar clarified that under the guideline approved by the NTF on COVID-19, motorcycle riders and back-riders are required to use at least HELMETS WITH FULL FACE VISOR, that must be worn all the time with face masks by the riders and back-riders.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa has already instructed all police commanders to make sure that the new rules on motorcycle back-riding are disseminated to the PNP personnel manning the Quarantine Control Points (QCPs) across the country.

PLt. Gen Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said the Riders of the Philippines is a formidable augmentation of the PNP since it is composed of various motorcycle rider groups in various parts of the country.

On behalf of the National Task Force COVID-19 chaired by Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and the JTF COVID Shield, we express our earnest gratitude to the people and groups comprising the Riders of the Philippines for their decision to voluntarily help the national government on the enforcement of the motorcycle riding rules,” said PLt. Gen. Eleazar.

The fight against COVID-19 cannot be won by the government alone. The government needs all the assistance and cooperation of as many people and groups for the protection of everybody, for the protection of our country. We are elated that big groups like the Riders of the Philippines have put their words into action by lending their help in one of the important measures to protect the public from the coronavirus. We really appreciate it,” he added.

The JTF COVID Shield, under the guidance of Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año, earlier recommended the easing of restrictions on pillion riding for riders and back-riders living in the same house to the NTF on COVID-19. SILG Año is the Vice Chairman of the NTF on COVID-19.

The Secretary of National Defense, Delfin Lorenzana approved the recommendation as Chairman of the NTF on COVID-19.

In order to be allowed to pass the QCPs and random checkpoints by the PNP Highway Patrol Group, the riders and back-riders must present documents such as identification cards and barangay certificates to attest that they are living in the same house.

The back-riders must also be included in the list of the Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs), although the rider may or may not be APOR for as long as the travel is intended to transport and fetch APORs to their workplaces and back home, particularly the medical frontliners.

PLt. Gen. Eleazar, however, clarified that the use of motorcycle barriers is required to riders and back-riders who are not living in the same house, adding that the move is to ensure that the new guideline on pillion riding will not be abused especially by those who would attempt to use their motorcycles for rent.

The new rules on pillion riding is being implemented at the areas under the General Community Quarantine like Metro Manila and nearby provinces while Local Government Units (LGUs) of areas under the Modified GCQ are given the authority to either adapt the same rules or craft and implement their own motorcycle pillion riding rules tailored-fit on their respective locality.

PLt. Gen. Eleazar explained that the approval of the new motorcycle back-riding rules is actually part of the gradual transition being implemented by the national government to facilitate the transportation for those who are exempted from the community quarantine amid limited operations of mass transport system and Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs).