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Lawmakers welcome new rule on motorcycle barriers

Lawmakers welcomed Wednesday (August 19) the pronouncement made by the Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield that the motorcycle barriers will no longer be required for riders and back-riders who are living in the same residence starting today.


Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, thanked the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19, chaired by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for approving the JTF COVID Shield’s recommendation to ease restrictions on married and living-in couples, family members and even people who are not related but live in the same residence.

Muntinlupa lone District Rep. Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon, and Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers partylist Rep. France Castro also heaved a sigh a relief after the “non-sense” motorcycle barrier policy concerning riders from the same household was scrapped.

“It’s good that the IATF (Inter Agency Task Force) has finally come to its senses regarding the barriers between riders coming from the same household. It is unfortunate though that they insisted on it despite the opposition to it based on logical and common sense reasons and caused people to spend much needed finances on what will eventually be scrapped,” Biazon said in a separate text message.

“It should serve as a lesson to the rule-makers to listen to other points of view and carefully study the consequences of their decisions,” he added.

Castro, for her part, said, “Umpisa pa lang (From the very start), non sense at unscientific ang paglalagay ng barrier sa motor para sa mag asawa o partners (Placing motorcycle barrier for couples or partners is non-sense and unscientific) . Tinutulan ito nang husyo ng taumbatan (This has been heavily opposed) pero ipinilit pa rin (but, its implementation was imposed). Pero dapat itigil na ito (It should have been scrapped) , ‘yung mask, helmet o face shield (because the mask, helmet and face shield) ay sapat nang panangga (are enough protection) sa (against) COVID-19.”

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, had announced that riders and back-riders who are not living in the same house will still be required to use barriers.

Sarmiento cited the need to implement such policy involving other motorcycle pillion riders to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection, even as he rallied behind the authorities’ issuance of a guideline on the implementation of new rules on motorcycle pillion riding.

But, AKO Bicol partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin disagreed with such policy, calling on the IATF not to require “motorcycle TNCs (transport network companies) and TNVS (transport network vehicle service) drivers to use the barriers because they also deserve equal protection and enforcement of our country’s laws and regulations.”

“With a full face helmet and a mask considered enough protection, I ask the IATF to immediately and formally abolish or cancel all directives they issued about the motorcycle barriers to make sure its reimposition will not happen ever again,” he said.

“I thank and commend the IATF and Joint Task Force COVID Shield for heeding our repeated call against the nonsense motorcycle barriers.”

Eleazar disclosed that the Philippine National Police (PNP) already released a guideline to all police commanders on the implementation of new rules on motorcycle pillion riding. Under the guideline, back-rider must be included in the list of Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) and that the motorcycles that would be used must not be for hire.

Covered by the new guideline on motorcycle back-riding apply are all areas under the General Community Quarantine that include Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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