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By:  Krissy Aguilar 

Sidecars are now allowed in national highways for both areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ, Malacañang announced Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this is to compensate for the lack of modes of transportation since back riding on motorcycles continues to be prohibited.

“Well nagkaroon na po ng bagong polisiya, pinapayagan na po ngayon ang mga sidecars sa national highways. Yan po ay para maibsan yung kakulangan ng transportasyon ngayong nag-GCQ na at MGCQ na sa maraming areas,” Roque said in an online briefing.

(There was a change in policy. Sidecars are now allowed on national highways. This is to relieve the lack of transportation now that many areas are under GCQ and MGCQ.)

Roque added that local government units (LGUs) cannot override the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Diseases policy against back riding.

“Ang pagbabawal po sa back ride ay applicable sa GCQ at MGCQ at ito po ay kabahagi ng isang IATF resolution. Hindi po pupuwedeng magbigay ng awtorisasyon ang mga mayor. Kinakailangan sundin pa din po yung pagbabawal sa backride,” Roque said.

(Prohibiting back riding is applicable during both GCQ and MGCQ and this is part of an IATF resolution. Mayors cannot give authorization to allow this. The ban on back riding should be followed.)

Several LGUs have asked the IATF to allow family members to back ride on motorcycles amid the shortage of public transport.

In light of this, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año suggested motorcycles and bicycles be attached with sidecars in order to observe physical distancing.