The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 has had a sudden change of heart on the pillion riding ban in areas 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 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: Pillion riding will no longer be exclusive to couples and domestic partners, as was the case before the reintroduction of MECQ.
“Even if yun APOR (authorized person outside of residence), o yun pasahero is not related dun sa nagmamaneho,” said Eleazar.
However, the NTF under Secretary Eduardo Año has set the following conditions for pillion riders:
- The passenger must either be 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 pillion riders must use 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, pillion riding 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.