CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The provincial government of Misamis Oriental wants to make sure it has received a copy of the final version of the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF)’s guidelines on backride policy before implementing it.
Lawyer Jeffrey Saclot, spokesperson for the Misamis Oriental Provincial Covid-19 Task Force, said they are apprehensive over this latest government decision, noting that the national IATF has been known to announce policy and then revise it shortly after implementing it.
“We are now waiting for the IATF guidelines before we can implement it,” Saclot said in an interview Friday, July 10.
Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano, he noted, has long been advocating for the backriding policy when the national IATF banned it.
Saclot also said the barrier or shield that the IATF requires to be installed on motorcycles is not necessary since the helmets will serve this purpose.
“The helmet is itself a shield. Putting a barrier is redundant and even dangerous to the motorcycle riders,” he said, adding there is also a tendency for the barrier to cause road accidents if not properly installed.
Interior Sec. Eduardo Año announced, in a statement posted on the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) website, that starting July 10, motorcycle backriding is already permitted for married and common-law couples.
Riding couples should bring copies of their marriage certificate and present IDs if asked by law enforcers. Married couples should have the same last name while common-law partners must share the same address.
Año also noted that motorcycle riders should utilize protective shields between both riders in compliance with the IATF guidelines.
In a separate announcement, DILG spokesperson and undersecretary Jonathan Malaya warned that couples who will share motorcycle ride without barriers might be apprehended. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/davaotoday.com)