MANILA – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reiterated that back-riding in motorcycles remains prohibited, saying the issue is a health and safety concern and not convenience.
In a televised meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and Cabinet officials on Friday, Año said this is in compliance with minimum health standards under the general community quarantine.
“Yes, naintindihan po natin yung hirap pero base po sa panuntunan ng DOH (Department of Health), ‘yung minimum health standard na physical distancing, napakahirap i-practice sa motor kahit sabihin natin sila ay mag-asawa o magkapatid pero ang virus walang pinipili. (We understand how difficult it is but based on the guidelines of the DOH, the minimum health standard that requires physical distancing is very hard to practice in motorcycles even if we say that they are a couple or they are siblings. The virus doesn’t spare anyone),” Año told Senator Christopher “Bong” Go when he raised the possibility of allowing back-riding, not only among couples, but to those belonging to the same household.
Año asked for understanding from the public as the country is still under quarantine.
“Mahirap mag-gamble na komo mag-asawa, pwede na magkadikit sila lalo na sa publiko (It is difficult to gamble. It doesn’t necessarily mean that if you are a couple, you can be close to each other especially in public),” he said.
He said the prohibition on back-riding in motorcycles will remain amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“The DOH’s stand is that while we have yet to adjust to the new normal and many areas still have increasing Covid-19 cases, that is what we are going to implement,” he added.
Año assured the public that this policy would change once the health authorities record “zero Covid-19 cases”. (PNA)