MANILA – Back-riding in motorcycles will be allowed only for couples beginning Friday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Thursday.
In a radio interview, Año said the measure was approved by the National Task Force for Covid-19.
"Yes, simula bukas ay papayagan na natin yung back-riding para sa mga couple (Yes, starting tomorrow (Friday), we will allow the back-riding for couples), At the same time, kailangan mag-wear pa rin ng mask at saka ng crash helmet 'yung ating passenger at rider (The passenger and rider should still wear masks and crash helmets)," Año said.
Año described a couple as those "living in the same household, whether they are married or they are common-law husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend."
To show proof of being a couple, they should present IDs "with the same surnames."
If they don't have the same last name, Año explained they should have the same address in their IDs.
"So, there are so many ways para mapatunayan na (to prove that) they are living in the same house," he said.
Año said the prototype model to be used for motorcycle back-riding was one submitted by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap.
In Yap's model, a barrier is placed between the rider and the passenger while a handle is placed on the side of the barrier. The barrier would reach beyond the head of the passengers to assure their health and safety.
Año encouraged others who have their own designs to keep submitting their proposals as it would undergo vetting by the Technical Working Group (TWG).
The government has imposed a “no back-ride” policy in motorcycles since the start of community quarantine measures in mid-March due to health and safety reasons.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he could not allow motorcycle back-riding because strict physical distancing cannot be observed. (PNA)