On August 22, MMDA made an official announcement on its Facebook page stating that helmets with full-face visors are required for back-riding. The visor is required to reach the user’s chin in order to comply with the directive. This announcement was made in accordance with the guidelines that have been approved by the Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar. He later on clarified that under the new guidelines approved by the NTF on COVID-19, motorcycle riders and back-riders are still required to wear face masks in addition to the helmets with full visors.
The new announcement was lauded by Riders of the Philippines (ROTP), a motorcycle group representing riders from all over the country. ROTP wrote a letter expressing its appreciation for the new action taken and would do their best efforts in cooperating with the authorities in reporting violators of the new measure. They wrote, “In appreciation of this effort, our groups will take part in the Operation Habal Watch and report them [offenders] to avoid the abuse of this decision and to protect the riding public.”
In response, Gen Eleazar also expressed his gratitude over ROTP’s efforts to lend a helping hand in enforcing the newly placed measures.
The fight against COVID-19 cannot be won by the government alone. The government needs all the assistance and cooperation of as many people and groups for the protection of everybody, for the protection of our country. We are elated that big groups like the Riders of the Philippines have put their words into action by lending their help in one of the important measures to protect the public from the coronavirus. We really appreciate it.
It should be noted that the JTF still requires motorcycle riders who are not living in the same household to use a back-riding shield when ferrying essential workers such as medical frontliners to and from their workplaces and when bringing them back to their homes.