By Rizal Obanil
A group of motorcycle riders is in favor of still disallowing back riders, even for married couples, under the modified enhanced community quarantine.
Atoy Sta. Cruz of Motorcycle Philippine Federation, in an interview Monday over DZMM said “kasi pag pinayagan mo yung mag-asaw baka pumasok na naman ang mga habal-habal (because if you allow back riding for couples, the habal-habal riders may again enter the picture).”
Habal-habal riders are motorcycle owners who illegally transport commuters in exchange for money.
The illegal practice at the onset of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), became prevalent as public transportation became virtually unavailable because of the ban on unauthorized land travel under the ECQ.
Government implemented the ban on back riding as
part of its efforts to promote proper social distancing.
In an attempt to be exempted from the said rule, some of the habal-habal riders would claim they were merely fetching a relative or in some instances their wife or girlfriend.
Sta. Cruz said that they learned that some LGUs have started allowing back riders to pass through checkpoints, adding that the verification process of determining whether or not the driver of the motorcycle and the back rider are indeed a couple causes some delay in the queue of motorcycle riders trying to get past a checkpoint.
But Sta. Cruz said that they are still in favor of the ban, as lifting it provides an opportunity for habal-habal riders to return to their illegal practice.