Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo said yesterday he will request the Land Transportation Office for a moratorium in the implementation of the mandatory helmet law in Dumaguete City during the Palarong Pambansa meet from April 21 to 27.

He said he will ask the LTO to temporarily suspend its operation against the non-wearing of helmets in Dumaguete City, as the police will have their hands full in ensuring the safety and security of athletes, delegates and visitors.

Negros Oriental provincial police director, Senior Supt. Noli Romana, said it will be very difficult to apprehend hundreds of motorists for violating the helmet law when only a handful of policemen were deputized by the LTO to enforce the traffic laws.

He said they expect visitors to flock to motorcycle rental shops in Dumaguete for transport during the Palaro, and most of these shops do not have helmets to rent out.

Dumaguete is known as the “motorcycle capital” of the country, and has been under close public scrutiny after some local officials and scores of residents expressed opposition to Republic Act 10054, or the law that requires motorcycle drivers and their passengers to wear prescribed helmets at all times.

Degamo said his request is timely as thousands of sports delegations from the 17 regions of the country, government officials, domestic and foreign tourists started arriving in Dumaguete and other towns for the national athletic games.*JFP