The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 has had a sudden change of heart with regard to the backriding ban in areas once again placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar disclosed in a radio interview that the NTF made the decision late in Monday evening—a few hours before the reimplementation of MECQ in Metro Manila and some of its neighboring provinces.
Even more good news for riders: Backriding or pillion riding is no longer exclusive to couples and domestic partners, as was the case before the reintroduction of MECQ. It will now be allowed “even if yung APOR (authorized person outside residence) o yung pasahero is not related dun sa nagmamaneho,” said Eleazar. (Click here to see who is considered an APOR.)
However, the NTF under Secretary Eduardo Año has set the following conditions for backriders:
Conditions for backriders under MECQ:
- The passenger must be either a medical frontliner or an employee of a sector that is allowed to operate during MECQ. They must bring an identification card or employment certificate to show at checkpoints.
- The motorcycle must be equipped with a backriding shield, either mounted on the motorbike or a backpack-style fixture. These were the two prototypes approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
- The rider must always bring a barangay-issued quarantine pass.
- The motorcycle must be privately owned.
Eleazar said these guidelines have been relayed by the Philippine National Police Directorate for Operations to local police stations for immediate implementation.
Prior to this, backriding was among the modes of transporation banned by the government amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Under MECQ, public transport such as the LRT, the MRT, jeepneys, buses, and tricycles are suspended. The implementation of the number-coding scheme remains on hold, too.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopBikes.ph. Minor edits have been made.