Ako Bicol Rep. Garbin seeks to allow lone back rider on motorcycles


Ako Bicol partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin has proposed to allow lone back rider on motorcycles amid the pandemic.

“If the IATF will continue to allow motorists to have passengers within their privately-owned SUVs, cars, and utility trucks under GCQ and lifted quarantine conditions, then they must also allow motorcycle riders to have one back riding passenger,” said Garbin.

In line with this, the lawyer-solon said that the basis of such proposal is the equal protection clause under the constitution.

“The constitutional bases of this position is the equal protection provision of the 1987 Constitution. This equal protection of law covers life, liberty, and property, as well as livelihood,” he said.

Garbin noted that there are 7.2 million registered motorcycles and millions of Filipino families who are dependent on motorcycles as their personal means of transportation

“Kung ang isang pribadong sasakyan nga ay pinapayagang mag sakay nang hanggang tatlong tao kahit hindi magka-kamag-anak o kaya naman ay nakatira sa isang bahay, walang reason para ipagkait ang pagkakaroon ng angkas kung kapamilya naman ang naka-angkas,” he said.

“Mali na ang mayaman at middle class na de-kotse maaaring makarating sa kanila trabaho, palengke, botika, ngunit ang mahirap at low income hindi dahil lamang sa motorsiklo lang ang kaya nilang maging personal na sasakyan,” added the solon.

Garbin also noted that the policy turned out to be “anti-poor.”

He also argued the familial relationship of the Filipinos and how the current policy affects this relationship.

“The logic behind the prohibition appears to be inapplicable to couples and immediate family members because family members reside in the same house,” said the solon.

“The perceived benefit of social distancing does not exist in a household, wala naman social distancing ang isang pamilya sa kanilang tahanan. Kung ating iisipin rin, ang mga sumasakay sa motor ay mga naka mask at helmet na. Palagay ko’y sapat na itong compliance,” he added.

Garbin also noted that if the IATF will continue to discriminate against motorcycle riders, “there would probably be legal challenges brought before the Judiciary in the weeks and months ahead.”