Two local officials to task force: Allow back-riding on motorcycles for family members under same roof

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 21) — Two more local officials have appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases to reconsider its no back-riding policy in the country.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, in a letter shared on his Facebook page on Thursday, urged the task force to allow motorcycle-riding for couples who live together.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas sent a similar appeal to the IATF on May 19, with hopes that instead of just the wife or husband, other immediate family members could also be permitted to be pillion passengers.

Remulla’s plea was accompanied by the suggestion that the Cavite provincial government issue a ‘couple’s pass’ to ensure that couples share the same house.

Pillion riding is seen to make commuting easier for many, since public utility vehicles operate at a reduced capacity in areas under general community quarantine such as Cavite and Iloilo City.

However, back-riding on motorcycles is prohibited by the government, as it is a violation of physical distancing, one of the ways to combat the spread of coronavirus disease.

Remulla clarified that he is not against the no-passenger policy for motorcycles, but he pointed out that this rule has been holding back many employees from physically returning to work.

“Para sa marami, ang polisiyang ito lamang ang humahadlang para sila ay makabalik sa trabaho,” he said.

[Translation: For many workers, this is only thing that is keeping them from going back to work.]

The Iloilo mayor noted that “the number of authorized public transport vehicles in the city is not enough to cater the volume of commuters or workers going out to report for work.”

In March, the IATF turned down similar requests from three mayors from Cebu province.