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Congressmen On LTO's 'No Back Riding' Policy

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Congressmen and members of the Cebu Provincial Board are crossing political boundaries to support Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s decision to allow one passenger on private motorcycles. 

The congressmen of Cebu’s seven districts expressed in a manifesto their strong support to Garcia and the Provincial Board of the Province of Cebu in allowing back riders of private motorcycles.

“Wa mi magkuyog niadtong milabay nga piliay. Apan karon nga panahon sa krisis, unsay nakita ninyo dinhi sa Probinsya sa Sugbo, sa Cebu Provincial Government, nagtinabangay tanan. We crossed political boundaries. Ang atong Provincial Board members lakip na gani ang atong Vice Governor misuportar sa tanan nato nga lakang kay sayud sila in this time of crisis kinahanglan mag-unite ang tanan. Mao sad ni karon niining manifesto,” Garcia said.

First district Rep. Eduardo R. Gullas Sr., 2nd district Rep. Wilfredo S. Caminero, 3rd district Rep. Pablo John F. Garcia, 4th district Rep. Janice Z. Salimbangon, 5th district Rep. Vincent Franco D. Frasco, 6th district Rep. Emmarie M. Ouano-Dizon, and 7th district Rep. Peter John D. Calderon expressed that “as representatives of the people of our districts, we are keenly aware of our constituents’ urgent need for ready access to transportation as the Province of Cebu transitions to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), and, hopefully, soon back to normalcy.”

“As our constituents crawl back from a long and difficult hiatus during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), mobility is absolutely essential, especially as they seek to rebuild lives put on hold and livelihoods they were forced to abandon in the interest of public health,” the manifesto read.

“Even under relaxed public transportation rules under GCQ, however, a large chunk of our population remains unserved or underserved, simply because they do not have access to MRTs (Metro Rail Transit), buses, jeepneys, taxis, TNVS (Transport Network Vehicle Service), public shuttles, and, even, in some areas, tricycles,” the congressmen said in the document.

“For a significant proportion of our constituencies, private, family-owned motorcycles – because they are the cheapest and easiest to acquire – remain the only viable means of transport as they go about their daily lives. And invariably, family members share rides, and depend on other family members who can drive to take them to their jobs,” they added.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Memorandum Circular No. 2020-2185 prohibited riding private motorcycles in tandem, even for family members. 

The congressmen said that this is in flagrant violation of Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code which does not prohibit the use of private motorcycles to transport passengers “provided the passenger is related within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, and provided, further, that no fee is charged.”

“As representatives of the people, we cannot play deaf to our constituents’ earnest and desperate plea to lift this unfair, anti-poor and insensitive “no back rider” policy, as it disproportionately impacts the poor over the rich who can afford other means of transportation,” the manifesto further read. 

As lawmakers, the seven congressmen feel that an administrative agency’s rule prohibiting what the law allows is tantamount to amending the law, and, therefore, patently ultra vires, as “the stream cannot rise higher than its source.”

Ultra vires is a Latin phrase meaning “beyond the powers,” an act which requires legal authority but is done without it.

“Tugtan nato ang back riding in conformity with RA 4136. A memorandum circular cannot supersede a national law. Dili nga mas gamhanan ang usa ka circular kaysa balaud. Amyendahon usa nato ang balaud,” Garcia accentuated.

The seven legislators added that they “welcome with gratitude and admiration the move of Governor Garcia and the Provincial Board of Cebu to allow and regulate passengers in private motorcycles, as allowed by law, as it grants relief to their overburdened constituents, especially the poor and the underprivileged.”

“We urge transportation officials in the province and the region to fully cooperate with and assist the Province of Cebu as they implement this provincial ordinance. We ask nothing more and nothing less than this. Listen to your people, and follow the law,” the manifesto added.

Meanwhile, 7th district Rep. Calderon wrote a separate letter to the governor expressing his support.

“I join the people of the 7th district of Cebu in commending Governor Gwen Garcia for issuing EO 19 which would essentially allow our residents to use their motorcycles to transport a passenger or back rider,” Calderon said.

“Even before Covid-19, I personally witnessed the difficulty the people, specially those living in the mountain barangays, encounter when transporting goods or family members using motorcycles as the only mode of transport,” he added.

“With the no back rider policy many residents have no choice but to walk for kilometers at the mercy of the elements and increasing their vulnerability to hazards and sickness,” the congressman shared.

“The issuance of the said Executive Order echoed the clamor of local executives and the marginalized people of Cebu to allow back riders to ease their burden in these trying times. This will improve mobility and provide convenience specially in times of emergency and enable them to restart their livelihood and alleviate economic difficulties this pandemic has brought upon them,” he said.

“Again, we express our utmost support for this Executive Order and for Gov Gwen Garcia in taking this bold step on behalf of our people,” Calderon expressed. (Eleanor Valeros)


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On 5/9/2020 at 6:59 AM, Dafey said:

Gordon urges LTO to release IRR for bigger motorcycle license plates


The implementing rules and regulations on requiring bigger license plates for motorcycles must be released immediately to prevent crimes perpetrated by riding-in-tandems, Senator Richard Gordon said Friday.

Gordon, the principal author of the Republic Act No. 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Law, renewed this call to the Land Transportation Office as he condemned the recent killing of a journalist in Dumaguete City.

“This is yet another case of remorseless murder committed by riding-in-tandem assassins. This is very much appalling especially that we are currently facing a pandemic. This brutal act should stop at once," he said in a statement.

A radio reporter was shot dead by two unidentified motorcycle-riding male suspects in Dumaguete City on Tuesday evening.

The Motorcycle Crime Prevention Law, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in March 2018, drew opposition from several motorcycle groups in the country as they claimed that bigger license plates compromised road safety for both the riders and pedestrians.

Under the law, the plate numbers should be big enough to be readable from a distance of at least 15 meters from the motorcycle.


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LTO suspends new requirement for motorcycle number plates due to lack of supply

A provision in the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, which requires riders to put up number plates at the rear and front of the vehicle will not be enforced for the time being due to lack of available plates, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said on June 1, Monday.


In a Laging Handa virtual press briefing, LTO Operations Division Office-in-Charge MJ Paras-Leynes said that this provision under Republic Act No. 11235 will not be implemented until all the plates are available.

“‘Yung provision patungkol doon sa pagkakaroon ng plaka sa harap at likod ng motorsiklo ay hindi pa maipapatupad dahil wala pa ‘yung plaka. Hindi pa ito ma-iimplement until maibigay natin ang mga plaka,” Leynes explained.

[Translation: The provision that mandates motorcycles to have number plates in front and in the rear will not been implemented for now as license plates are not yet available. It will not be implemented until the plates are delivered.]

But Leynes mentioned that the agency is now starting to produce the plates, complying with the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law, which aims to prevent crimes by making number plates bigger, readable, and color-coded based on the region and type of vehicle.

“Nagsisimula nang ma-ideliver yung mga plaka compliant with the RA 11235. Nagsisimula na kaming mag-produce ngayon,” she said.

[Translation: The plates, complying with RA 11235, have started to be delivered. We have started producing them now.]

“Ang target initial delivery is July this year and baka by September, ma-ideliver na lahat ng plaka sa LTO para sa 2018 na mga saskayan (Our target initial delivery is July this year, and maybe by September, all printed plates for vehicles registered in 2018 will be delivered to the LTO),” the official added.

Meanwhile, Leynes reminded riders that other provisions of the law, as well as the IRR, will remain in force and will be implemented by the agency.

“Ang importante ay rehistrado ang sasakyan, at dala lagi ang OR/CR (Official Receipt/Certificate of Registration) if ever may katanungan tungkol sa validity ng rehistro (It is important that the vehicle is registered and for drivers to always carry the OR/CR, if ever there will be questions about the validity of the registration),” she said.

Based on the revised IRR released by the LTO last month, motorcycle drivers are required to install a decal number plate measuring 135 mm by 85 mm in front of motorbikes and a larger metal plate measuring 235 mm by 135 mm on the rear.

In the 13-page document, hefty fines ranging from P20,000 up to P100,000 await riders who will be caught not complying with the law.

President Duterte signed into law the RA 11235 in March 2019, in an attempt to curb the crimes perpetrated by motorcycle-riding suspects but was suspended after the measure faced objections.


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Motorcycles in Cebu Province will be allowed to transport one passenger after the Provincial Board approves an ordinance on the matter on Friday, June 5.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia confirmed that motorcycles within the Province of Cebu may transport passengers or “back riders” provided they carry only one passenger per trip, and that no fee is charged.

Section 1 of Executive Order No. 19 she issued for the purpose states that both driver and passenger must wear helmets approved by the Department of Trade and Industry under Republic Act No. 10054 “mandating all motorcycle riders to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving and providing penalties thereof.”

Both driver and passenger must wear closed shoes, and that applicable mandatory health standards shall also be observed by both the driver and the passenger.

“Kinahanglan pa ni ang EO i-adopt sa Provincial Board by way of a Provincial Ordinance. The moment aprubahan i-print, pirmahan nako nga effective na na ang maong ordinansa. Maong paghuwat mo kay naa pa ta’y sundon nga mga procedure,” Garcia addressed Cebu Province through a livestream report.

It was found out that Republic Act No. 4136, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, does not prohibit the use of private motorcycles to transport passengers provided that the passenger is a relative by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree to the owner and shall not be used to solicit, accept or be used to transport passengers or freight for pay.

A vehicle frequently used to carry freight not belonging to the registered owner, or passengers not related by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree to such owner, shall be conclusively presumed to be “for hire,” according to Section 7 of the EO.

Garcia, in her EO, pointed out that the proposition of RA 4136 was confirmed by no less than the Supreme Court of the Philippines in the landmark case of “The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Department of Transportation vs. Hon. Carlos A. Valenzuela, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong City, and DBOYC, Inc.” dated March 11, 2019 otherwise known as the “Angkas Case” where it tacitly stated that a motorcycle owner may ferry a passenger as long as no fee is charged.

The EO also underscored that the legal principle of nulla poena sine lege – there shall be no penalty without a law – finds application on the plight of the thousands of motorcycle-riding Cebuanos as there is no law that expressly prohibits the back riding of passengers on motorcycles.

The “no back rider” policy reiterated under Land Transportation Office Memorandum Circular No. 2020-2185 is unhinged for, being a mere regulation that implements and enforces an existing law, it cannot go beyond the parameters of existing legal frameworks pursuant to the Supreme Court cases of “China Banking Corporation vs. Home Development Mutual Fund dated May 19, 1999 and The People of the Philippines vs. Hon. Maximo A. Macaren dated October 18, 1977.”

Further, the EO invokes Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, which states that provinces shall exercise powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance and those which are essential to the promotion of general welfare, health, and safety, including the provisions of services to control communicable diseases.

Under Section 465 of the same Code, the Provincial Governor shall carry out such emergency measures as may be necessary during and in the aftermath of man-made and natural disasters and calamities.

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Province of Cebu has an estimated population of 5,085,207 for 2020 where a great percentage of this depend on motorcycles for their travel to work, secure basic necessities, and other essential goods during the community quarantine.

With the lifting of more restrictions where more businesses are allowed to operate under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the “no back rider” policy is “no longer cogent for want of adequate public transportation” especially for persons living mountain barangays and far-flung areas as well as for those living in the same household who are related by consanguinity or affinity within the fourth civil degree to the owner of the motorcycle. (Eleanor Valeros)

To summarize the above.  Gwen Garcia is allowing 1 related backrider per motorcycle as long as both have helmets and it's not 'for hire.' So no Habel Habel.

Also, I just saw an fb live from Lilo-an Mayor Frasco that she and the rest of the provincial mayors met with Gov. Gwen and the governor will allow multiple backriders and they don't have to be related but still must have helmets and no payment.  

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4 hours ago, SkyMan said:


To summarize the above.  Gwen Garcia is allowing 1 related backrider per motorcycle as long as both have helmets and it's not 'for hire.' So no Habel Habel.

Also, I just saw an fb live from Lilo-an Mayor Frasco that she and the rest of the provincial mayors met with Gov. Gwen and the governor will allow multiple backriders and they don't have to be related but still must have helmets and no payment.  

Here in Tuburan..  not 1 km from my home.. is one of the larger roads that head up into the mountains.  Most of the bikes turning the corner off this road have back riders..  and at least half have multiple back riders.  Just a reality of life here.  How else are the mountain farmers able to come to town?

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7 hours ago, to_dave007 said:

Here in Tuburan..  not 1 km from my home.. is one of the larger roads that head up into the mountains.  Most of the bikes turning the corner off this road have back riders..  and at least half have multiple back riders.  Just a reality of life here.  How else are the mountain farmers able to come to town?

That's the reason the mayors met with the gov and she is now allowing that.

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By: Vanessa Almeda, Mylen Manto | Published Monday, June 08, 2020

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia assured Cebuanos she has not given up on her position to allow “backriding” on motorcyles in Cebu Province, even as she recalled her executive order in deference to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Nahibaw mo ang presidente mao na gud nay pinakalabaw nato sa tanan. Gipili sad na sa katawhan. Siya sad na akong presidente mao nga motuman ko sa unsay iyang gusto. Morespeto ko sa decision sa presidente,” Garcia said on Friday during her regular livestream report held in Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan.

Garcia, however, clarified that as she sets her EO aside, she will still continue to plead on the president’s “good heart,” as he is known to be pro-poor. 

“Aw maghuwat ta, pero mopadayon ta og paghangyo, sa pag-apela nga tugutan ang pag-backride,” Garcia further said.

Duterte had turned down the move of Cebu Province, wherein the Provincial Board was poised to approve an ordinance allowing backriding. In a taped public address aired Thursday night, Duterte said: “Much as I would like really to accommodate Governor Garcia and the board members, here’s what can I say. If I begin to give an exemption to one…I will open myself charges of anti-graft law giving undue advantage to the other to the prejudice of another.”

The governor is not losing hope on the issue.

“Ang kasing-kasing sa atong presidente alang man gyud sa kabus. Nahibawo man mo nga mobati man na siya sa mga kabus. Magpadayon lang ta sa pag-ampo ug magpadayon ta sa panghinaut nga kining atong hangyo moabot ang adlaw nga tugutan lang gyud gihapon,” Garcia said.

Last Wednesday, June 3, the governor signed Executive Order 19 in response to public clamor to allow one single passenger or back rider for private motorbikes. 

“We have set it aside ang EO. And also ang atong PB (Provincial Board) nga tasked to take it up atong gi-advisan nga i-defer lang una,” Garcia said.  

Since border controls eased and other restrictions were lifted due to the General Community Quarantine (GCQ), public clamor for back rides on motorbikes increased.

Work resumed Monday, June 1, and reports of thousands of Cebuanos left stranded on highways waiting for public transport reached Garcia. 

“Ako lang, wala koy gipangayo nga special favor. Ako lang ni i-clarify. Ang ako gi-request dili ni alang kanako. Ako lang ang nahimo nga conduit, ako na lang ang ni-express sa hangyo sa libo ka liboan o milyon milyon naman gani ka mga Sugbuanon nga hilabihan intawon nga na-inconvenience ani, nag-antos nga dili tugutan nga pagbackride nga gitugutan man ni sa balaod,” the governor said. 

“Suffice it to say, di ta mawad-an og paglaum. Keep the faith,” Garcia said.  

“Magpadayon ko sa paghangyo sa presidente nga unta tagaan kini niya og konsiderasyon. Tutal this is not contrary to the law, gitugutan man ni sa balaod,” she said.

Last  June 4, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III warned the governor that she will face administrative and criminal charges if she insists with her EO. Her decision to “set aside” the EO raised public concern that the governor is backing down because of the supposed threat.

Garcia said she is ready to face the DILG and respond to a show-cause order.

“Mao na akong giisip nga balaanong katungod. Responsibilidad kaayong dako. Gipili ko ninyo, panalipdan ta mo. Ako gyud paningahon nga ang inyong tingog, ang inyong yangongo katagaan og alibyo,” she said.

However, she emphasized that it was already the president who spoke, and she being the elected official like the president, she will respect the highest official of the land. 

“So, it is incumbent upon us nga mga elected official to respect the highest official of the land. Highest elected official of the land,” she emphasized. 

“But sama sa giingon ko this will not stop me nga magpadayon sad ko og apela sa presidente nga unta matagaan niya’g konsiderasyon ang labihang daghanang mga kabus natong mga kaigsoonan nga i-lift ang no-backride policy. Tutal this is not contrary to the law, dili man ni illegal, gitugutan man ni sa balaod,” the governor reiterated. 

Provincial Board Member Atty. John Ismael Borgonia, author of the ordinance which was set to adopt the governor’s EO, said the ordinance is “good as dead.” 

But when the president reconsiders, Borgonia will refile the ordinance. (Vanessa Almeda, Mylen Manto)


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  • Administrator

Back-riding in motorcycles ‘approved in principle’ but wait for guidelines

The government may soon allow back-riding in motorcycles as concerned agencies are working on safety protocols to lessen the possibility of transmitting COVID-19 in this mode of transportation.

“Ang DOTr (Department of Transportation), kasama ang DOST (Department of Science and Technolgy), DOH (Department of Health), MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority), at DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) ay inatasan na magpulong at alamin ang pinakaligtas at epektibong paraan para mabawasan ang transmission sa back-riding sa mga motorsiklo,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Saturday.

“So malapit na po ang backriding pero kinakailangan na ang NTF (National Task Force) ang mag-issue ng mga guidelines,” Roque said.

The Palace official said the practice is already “allowed in principle” upon the approval of the requirements by the Technical Working Group.

“Antay-antay na lang po muna at baka puwede na mapayagan ang back-riding,” Roque said.

The government has earlier stood firm on prohibiting back-riding on motorcycles amid quarantine measures in place to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Similarly, Roque announced that the DOH is studying the proposal by ride-hailing firm Angkas on putting a “special suit” or a divider between the rider and passenger to ensure physical distancing in motorcycle taxis. —KG, GMA News

This article Back-riding in motorcycles ‘approved in principle’ but wait for guidelines 



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