The Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is now allowing couples living together in the same house to ride tandem on a motorcycle.
This came after months of public pressure to allow pillion riding amid the dearth of allowed public transport modes during various levels of community quarantine controls. In a news report announcing the new policy, Department of Interior and Local Government said that only married couples and live-in partners will initially be allowed to ride tandem on motorcycles.
In interviews on radio and television talk shows, IATF officials clarified that couples, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, would be permitted to ride tandem on motorcycles, as long as they are living together in a single house.
They must show proof like copies of marriage certificates or IDs showing the same surnames or the same addresses.
The IATF also said couples have to comply with IATF guidelines for pillion riding, including the use of protective barrier between the riders.
The IATF initially said the protective barriers must be affixed onto the motorcycles, citing the prototype for the barrier proposed by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap for use in his province and approved by the National Task Force for Covid-19.
Later the IATF said NTF also approved the backpack-type barrier proposed for safe pillion riding by Angkas, the motorcycle ride hailing app provider.
Many couples are thankful for being allowed to ride together on motorcycles. The next question now is: Will government extend this privilege to other family members living in the same house? Or will Angkas be allowed to resume operations?