DILG assures no arrest yet for violators on first day of new back-riding policy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 10) — During the first day of implementation of the new back-riding policy, law enforcers will just warn, and not arrest violators, the Department of Local and Interior Government assured Friday.

"Sa ngayon po, mag-wa-warning muna ang ating kapulisan," Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a briefing.

[Translation: For now, police officers will just issue warnings.]

Cohabiting couples are now allowed to ride motorcycles together again, provided there is a protective shield between both riders, and they present proof they live together at quarantine control points or to law enforcers. Pillion riders may present documents such as marriage certificate or barangay-issued certificate proving they share the same address.

Officials said the protective shield could be like the prototype plastic shield proposed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, which appears to be unsafe, according to experts. But Malaya said the prototype was subjected to scrutiny by their own group of experts as well as the Land Transportation Office, and they do not ‘see this as a possible safety concern.’

Those who will be caught violating the protocols may already be arrested in the succeeding days, Malaya said.

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 will release within the day the official rules and regulations on back riding, the official added.

He noted that they may also allow family members to ride pillion, but this would ‘depend on the situation on the ground.’