Malacañang on Saturday said motorcycle back-riding is allowed “in principle,” and government agencies are currently working on guidelines to enforce minimum health standards in the said mode of transportation.

The country’s transport, science and technology, health, and trade and industry departments, along with the Metro Manila Development Authority and Bureau of Philippine Standards, were tasked to craft protocols that would limit the transmission rate of Covid-19 in back-riding pairs.

“Pinapayagan na in principle ang back riding upon the approval of the requirements na ise-set ng technical working group. Hintay-hintay na lang po muna,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in Saturday’s Laging Handa briefing.

Cebu and Cavite governors, among many, have previously called on the government to allow back-riding, as most families use motorcycles for transportation amid the ban on public transport. President Rodrigo Duterte had rejected the appeals, saying it remained unsafe.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, in its Resolution 47 signed yesterday, has allowed in principle the mode of transport.

Motorcycle taxi ride-hailing company Angkas has also proposed to place detachable shields in their vehicles to limit contact between rider and passenger.

The National Task Force would issue the guidelines once available, Roque said. (John Ezekiel Hirro)