If IATF allows back-riding, it will only be for private motorcycles — DOTr

Published June 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz 

Riding pillion with the proper health safety measures, otherwise known as back-riding or “riding in tandem,” may only be allowed for private motorcycles as operations of motorcycle taxis remain suspended, according to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran.


Libiran made the clarification on Sunday amid reports that the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved in principle the return of motorcycle taxis.

“What the IATF considers allowing is the private use of motorcycles with back-riding, subject to health and safety protocols that are now being formulated by concerned agencies such as the DOTr, DOST (Department of Science of Technology), DOH (Department of Health), MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority), and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry),” the transportation official said.

“These agencies will determine the safest and most effective way of reducing the risk of transmission in motorcycle back-riding,” she added.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque last Thursday said the guidelines, which detail the different motorcycle back-riding contraptions and devices, such as pillion, will most likely be issued before the end of June.
However, Libiran said there is a separate discussion on the resumption of operations of motorcycle taxis.

“As mentioned in our previous statement, the pilot study (trial period) of motorcycle taxis had already expired in April. We already submitted our recommendations to the House of Representatives, and we are awaiting their action if they (motorcycle taxis) will be allowed to continue operations,” she pointed out.

“So, technically, there is nothing to resume in the meantime, unless a new law is passed allowing them to operate as a legal public transport mode,” she said.

Since the lockdown was declared on March 15, the public has been appealing to the government to allow riding pillion in motorcycles as an alternative to the suspension of public transportation.

However, the IATF rejected the suggestions due to lack of physical distancing and higher risk of coronavirus transmission.