DOTr chief thumbs down back-riding on motorcycles, cites enforcement issues

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — The policy against back-riding on motorcycles, also called pillion riding, stays in areas under general community quarantine, the Department of Transportation said Saturday.

“Iyong back-ride ng mag-asawa, ang malaking issue ho diyan ay enforcement. Kaya at this time, di pa ina-allow ng DOTr sa motorsiklo kesyo mag-asawa o hindi,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a media briefing.

[The big issue regarding back-riding on motorcycles for married couples is enforcement. So, the DOTr still does not allow this.]

This means that motorcycle taxi services, which many commuters use to skirt bad traffic, will not be allowed to operate for now.

One of the issues is ensuring that the driver and passenger keep enough space from each other to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease, Tugade said.

Two weeks ago, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases to allow motorcycle-riding for couples who live together.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas sent a similar appeal to the IATF, with hopes that instead of just the wife or husband, other immediate family members could also be permitted to be pillion passengers.

Pilion riding is seen to decongest public utility vehicles since they can only operate at reduced capacity in areas under GCQ.

Metro Manila, and cities of Cebu and Mandaue will transition to GCQ on June 1 to June 15 after two months of enhanced community quarantine, a more stringent form of restriction.

The rest of Central Visayas and the regions of Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Calabarzon, the province of Pangasinan and cities of Zamboanga and Davao will also be under GCQ, while the rest of the country will be under modified GCQ, the lowest form of quarantine.