BY SHIELA G. GELERA AND GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Thirty-seven additional motorists were apprehended for not having barrier while pillion riding in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, Monday and yesterday.
This adds up the total apprehension since Saturday to 102, when the enforcement of the policy started.
The national Inter-Agency Task Force against Covid-19 directed the local police and traffic management units to apprehend motorists who are not complying with the “no barrier, no back-riding” policy. Installing the barrier, authorities said, was a minimum health protocol to prevent the spread of the virus.
P/Lt. Col. Luisito Acebuche, Bacolod Traffic Authority Office head, said yesterday that they have issued citation tickets to 16 violators of Bacolod Executive Order 35 and City Ordinance 296.
Meanwhile, the Highway Patrol Group-Negros Occidental caught 11 violators yesterday and 10 violators on Monday, P/Capt. Robelito Mariano, HPG-Negros Occidental head, said.
The operation was conducted in the cities of Kabankalan and Escalante in Negros Occidental.
Acebuche said the fines imposed by the HPG are separate from the BTAO.
Mariano said the citation ticket they are issuing to the violators is for reckless driving with a fine of P2,000 that should be settled with the Land Transportation Office.
Those caught by the BTAO will be fined P500 for the first offense, P1,000 for second offense, and P1,500 for third and succeeding offenses, plus revocation of the driver’s license, Acebuche said.
Motorists should install a barrier similar to the prototypes of Bohol and Angkas approved by the national IATF.
Only married couples and live-in partners are allowed to pillion ride, provided they present documents, such as marriage contract and barangay certificate, proving that they are, indeed, living together.
Meanwhile, police chiefs in Negros Occidental were ordered to start the campaign against passengers riding pillion on motorcycles without barriers or shields.
Maj. Norberto Barniso, Police Community Relations chief of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, yesterday said the PNP-HPG initially started the campaign during the weekend in compliance with the directive of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Barniso said that violators will be fined, based on the ordinances approved by the local government units. In the absence of a local ordinance that imposes fines, he said violators will be warned by the police on first offense.
If they commit a similar offense for the second or third time, they will be fined based on the provisions of the national policy, Barniso said.
But if the back-rider is a frontliner or considered as an essential worker in modified enhanced community quarantine areas, they will be allowed, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Luis Licup, director for operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said.
The police was also reminded to exercise maximum tolerance and for the public to cooperate.*