According to Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Emmanuel F. Piñol, the national government’s No Backride Policy is detrimental to the country’s economic growth, particularly in Mindanao.
The former North Cotabato governor said that given the unpaved condition of roads within most rural areas and villages, as well as a scarcity of commercial passenger vehicles, motorcycles remain as the most reliable mode of transportation in many different areas of Mindanao.
Although the MinDA chair acknowledges the importance of preventing further spread of Covid19 by banning backrides, he believes that it simply isn’t practical nor feasible to fully implement in Mindanao’s six regions (Regions 9 to 13, as well as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM), wherein motorcycle transportation is vital to everyday life.
With motorcycles being the primary mode of transportation, Piñol mentioned that in some regions of Mindanao, heavy motorcycles have been outfitted with side extensions that increase passenger load, and create a visual resemblance to the space station Skylab, which is what they are known as locally.
The MinDA chair will officially contact the Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG), as well as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), to urgently request that they exclude Mindanao from the No Backride Policy.
Photo: Philippine Star