More than 7,000 motorcycle riders were accosted nationwide since the government allowed the pillion riding for married and living-in couples on July 10 due to public transportation woes amid the continuous implementation of the community quarantine to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said 7,091 riders were accosted for back-riding unauthorized people that include their relatives, friends, and even neighbors.
Eleazar said the number of violators accosted in just nine days – from July 10 to July 18 – only strengthened the government’s resolve to strictly implement the two rules for backriding – that there must be installed barriers that pass the safety standard of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and the riders must be married or living-in couples.
“For a long time, motorcycle riders had repeatedly requested the government to allow at least their partners to back-ride with them due to limited public transportation. And now that the government finally granted their request, they openly and brazenly disregarded the rules that the government was asking from them in return to ensure their safety from coronavirus infection,” said Eleazar.
The National Task Force Against COVID-19 ruled that pillion riding is exclusive for married and living-in couples and allowing other people to back-ride is a ground for apprehension of the police.
Based on the data of the Philippine National Police, 6,476 of those accosted were not only unauthorized couples but also had no installed barriers. Six-hundred fifteen of the accosted violators have installed barriers but all of them are unauthorized couples.