With mounting pressure not only from local government units and motorcycle companies but the riding public as well, Malacañang has finally given a thumbs up to lift the ban on backriding.
Presidential spokesman Atty. Harry Roque has announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved “in principle” the lifting of the prohibition against pillion riding, although it’s not for immediate implementation. “Pinapayagan na in principle ang backriding upon the approval of the requirements na ise-set ng technical working group. Antay-antay lang po muna,” he said.
Roque said the President has instructed the concerned government agencies to form a technical working group that will conduct a study and prepare a set of strict health guidelines for riders and passengers of motorcycles to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Recently, ride-hailing motorcycle companies Angkas and JoyRide, along with Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor Jr., presented their respective protective shield designs aimed at preventing virus contamination among riders and their passengers. The shield designs were submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infection Diseases and Land Transportation Office (LTO) for approval.
Roque appealed for patience and understanding among the riding public because it will take a little more time before the health protocols for pillion riding are finalized.
Among the agencies tapped for the drafting of the health guidelines on backriding are the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Department of Science and Technology (DoST).