ALTHOUGH the Cebu City Government has an existing regulation that prohibits children from riding motorcycles, the Cebu City Traffic Office (CCTO) said the local policy has not been strictly implemented.
Under the City Ordinance (CO) 2033, motorcycle drivers are not allowed to carry children from seven years old and below as their back riders.
The ordinance, which was drafted by former councilor Eugenio Faelnar, also applies to motorized scooter and bicycle drivers.
Under the ordinance, any person who will violate it will be punished by imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than three months and/or a fine of P200 to P500.
It was passed in 2004 yet.
CCTO Operations Chief Jonathan Tumulak said majority of the motorcycle drivers are still not aware of the local policy even if it was passed more than 10 years ago.
“When I assumed as chief of operations, I implemented the ordinance but wasn’t strict in apprehension. Namadlong usa ta, parahon unya pahibaw-on ug pahimangnuan sa nga dunay susamang balaod dinhi sa syudad (We just stopped them and told them there is such a law),” Tumulak said.
The traffic office has been implementing maximum tolerance, given that children will be wearing safety gear like protective helmets.
Children riding motorcycles is also a common scene in the city, Tumulak said, particularly when students are going to school since one can easily buy a motorcycle compared to four-wheeled vehicles.
“Namatikdan nato sa atong pag-para sa mga driver sa motor, nakita namo nga ang sakay mahadlok, aron sa paglikay nga ma-trauma ang bata, wa sa gyod mi manakop (We noticed that when we stopped them, the passenger gets scared, so to avoid trauma on the child, we didn’t apprehend the drivers yet),” he added.
But the situation, Tumulak emphasized, should not be the reason for the drivers to be exempted from the policy.
CO 2033 was passed several years ago, Tumulak said, and there is a need to amend the policy to effectively enforce it since guidelines on when to apprehend the violators and other specifics were not clearly stated.
Recently, a law banning small children from riding as motorcycle passengers was enacted.
Under Republic Act 10666, children are not allowed to ride in motorcycles unless they can comfortably reach the foot peg and wrap their arms around the driver.
Children are also required to wear a protective helmet.