It’s definitely normal for us to think that the government is simply one big vacuum cleaner whose sole job is to milk citizens of their hard-earned money. We’re all led to believe that it is for the betterment of society. However, the road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions, and such is the case with Mandaluyong City’s ordinances against tandem motorcycle riders.
Specifically, ordinance numbers 550, S-2014, 595, S-2015, and 694, S-2018 prohibit two males riding on a motorcycle unless both individuals are first-degree relatives or members of the city’s police force. Violators will be fined up to P3,000. These were apparently put in place to reduce the number of crimes by riding-in-tandem motorcyclists.
According to this ABS-CBN report, these rulings were challenged by Dino De Leon. He was apprehended on March 7, 2019 while riding an Angkas motorcycle taxi which he booked online. A lawyer by profession, De Leon filed a case in a Mandaluyong court on the basis of the ordinances being discriminating against males.
The abovementioned rulings were recently declared unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals Fifth Division. It said that such ordinances were unfair, and that there was no data showing the correlation between male back riders and motorcycle crimes. It added that the city failed to offer alternatives which are “less intrusive of private rights.”
Now, one could only wonder if or how Mandaluyong City will return the fees it has reportedly collected illegally. According to this Facebook post, De Leon says that number is around P200 million.