AN OFFICIAL from the Department of Interior and Local Government in Davao Region (DILG-Davao) advised the backriding public to bring proof that they are a married couple.
“Magdala sila identification or any proof that they are living together. Example, ID showing same family names and address or if different surnames, IDs with same address,” DILG-Davao regional director Alex Roldan said.
Beginning July 10, 2020, motorcycle backriding will be allowed, but only for couples living in the same house in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.
“Yes simula bukas ay papayagan na natin ‘yung backriding para sa mga couple... Living in the same household whether they are married or they are common-law husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend but they are living in the same household,” he said.
“Well sa ID naman sigurado pareho ng apelyido. Kung halimbawa naman ay hindi magkapareho ng apelyido mag common-law husband and wife ay meron silang the same address sa ID nila. Kung live-in sila gano’n din the same address din. So there are so many ways para mapatunayan na they are living in the same house,” he added.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque later clarified in a virtual press briefing that only married couples will be allowed to travel via backriding.
“Limitado pa rin po siya sa mga mag-asawa (it will be limited for married couples),” he said.
He said live-in partners, siblings and other family members will not be permitted to travel via motorcycle backriding.
“Hindi pa rin po kasi ang clamor naman po para sa mag-asawa initially (they will still not be allowed because the clamor was to allow married couples initially),” he said.
He said married couples should be prepared to present a photocopy of their marriage certificate at checkpoints or if police officers check that they are indeed married.
“Siguro po identification card at siguro po Xerox lang ng kanilang marriage contract. Di naman po kinakailangan yung original (Perhaps they should bring identification cards and a photocopy of their marriage contract. They don’t need to bring the original),” he said in a virtual presser.
He said backriding couples should also observe minimum public health standards such as wearing face masks.
Roque also said they should also ensure that they observe the speed limit and wear their helmets at all times.
Meanwhile, the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 has approved a prototype shield, proposed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, to be installed in motorcycles.
This prototype requires the installation of a barrier between the driver and the passenger.
However, he said the NTF is continuously studying designs and features that will ensure the safety of the riders.
“Meron siyang barrier in between the rider at saka passenger pagkatapos ay meron din siyang handle sa side nung barrier at lalampas hanggang ulo niya ‘yung barrier para sigurado na walang laway na tatalsik and at the same time kailangan mag wear pa rin ng mask at saka ng crash helmet yung ating passenger at rider,” he said.
Año urged others to propose other designs that may prevent transmission of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). These proposals may be submitted to the concerned government agencies.
“Pero ‘yung may mga design at proposal ay patuloy pa rin sila mag-submit sa NTF sapagkat meron naman tayong TWG (technical working group) na sumusuri diyan at kaagad naman kung ito naman ay safe para sa travel may barrier between the rider and passenger para hindi magkaroon ng hawaan ng Covid ay aaprubahan din kaagad yan,” he added.
Año said such measures may only be applied in areas under GCQ or MGCQ.
However, Roldan said that it is still uncertain if the same design will be implemented in Davao Region.
“Wala pa nay klaro kay lain-lain ang proposal. Naay sa Bohol, sa Davao (there are a lot of different proposals so we are not yet sure if that will be used),” he said in a text message to SunStar Davao.
He said they have yet to set implementing policies that will be handed to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for enforcement.
“Adto na na sa PNP. Ang PNP na ang mag implement ana. Sitahon na sila kung makita sa checkpoints or makita sa highway patrol nagdagan sa mga agianan (we will forward it to the PNP for enforcement. Back riding couples in motorcycles will be flagged either at checkpoints or on the streets),” he said.
In a virtual press briefing in Davao City, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that couples must continue to follow the minimum public health standards such as wearing face masks and follow traffic rules such as wearing helmets and observing speed limits. (With SunStar Philippines and PNA)