The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomes the offer from 14 motorcycle clubs to help authorities implement the backriding shield policy in general community quarantine areas.
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said in a statement that the motorcycle organizations, led by the Riders of the Philippines, volunteered to relay information on possible areas where the policy is being violated. These riders, Eleazar said, are based in various communities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
This is a stark contrast from the recent past when bike clubs hurled vicious attacks not only against the PNP but also other agencies under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for requiring riders to use backriding shields.
Yesterday, the IATF began allowing pillion riding based on two conditions: the rider and the passenger must live in the same house, and if they’re not staying under one roof, the passenger must be an authorized person outside of residence (APOR). Riders from different households must use a backriding shield patterned after the design from Angkas. Pillion riders must be ready to show proof of residence, while APORs should always have a company ID on hand to justify their travel.
“In appreciation of this effort, our groups will take part in ‘Operation Habal-habal Watch’ and report them to avoid the abuse of this decision and to protect the riding public,” the members of ROP said in a statement.
At the same time, the rider clubs appealed to authorities not to limit riders to wearing just full-face helmets, which Eleazar immediately considered. The police officer reiterated that the policy on full-face helmets or half-face helmets (should be worn with face masks for pillion riders) will be implemented as per the IATF’s guidelines.
Do you think other motorcycle clubs will follow suit?