We previously reported the suspension of the ride-hailing operations of motorcycle taxis, namely Angkas and Joyride. It’s another measure that aims to enforce the social distancing protocols imposed by the government to help in stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus. Now, in the same vein, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is enforcing a total ban on back-riding, or pillion riding passengers.
This is part of the agency's guidelines for social distancing in public modes of transport, said DOTr Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon. In other words, during the time of the community quarantine, motorcycle riding is not banned to get around Metro Manila especially in getting your proper provisions for your basic necessities such as groceries, medicines, food, etc. What is prohibited is passenger pillion riding or back-riding as this would violate the social distancing protocols imposed by the government. In an official statement released by the DOTr, it said: “Personal use of motorcycles is allowed, as long as it complies with the social distancing measures required by the Department of Health.” This only makes sense as motorcycles only have a limited capacity of carrying two passengers in very close proximity to each other.
Last night, President Rodrigo Duterte imposed an “enhanced community quarantine” for the entire island of Luzon, giving stricter measures than the previously imposed “softer” community quarantine. Private companies would now have to give WORK FROM HOME arrangements for their employees, public transportation is now totally suspended, and only one member of a household is allowed to go outside their homes to buy basic necessities. This was seen as the proper action after observing how its citizens failed to observe the proper social distancing protocols. Come the rush hour, when people would have to make their way to work via public transportation, social distancing would eventually break down. Now the government had no choice but to impose a much stricter total lockdown under the guise of an “enhanced community quarantine”. Well, at least you could still take out your bike if you need to purchase provisions for food, medicines, water, or groceries, and not just under the guise of “buying basic necessities”.