Duterte suspends implementation of Child Seat Law

Updated Feb 17, 2021 | Same topic: Latest Consumer Reports

The decision comes amid public debate over the law’s implementation.

Practically everyone agrees that child safety is of utmost consideration, especially when inside a moving vehicle. What many don’t seem to agree on is how to go about it, in light of the controversy surrounding the Child Seat Law.

Rodrigo Duterte

The President doesn't want the Child Seat Law implemented at this time

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself has ordered the suspension of the decree, nearly two years after he signed it and four days after it was supposed to come into effect.  This was relayed by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go during a media briefing last February 6, 2021.

Siya mismo ayaw rin niyang i-implement ito. Sabi niya, ‘not this time’,” Go said, referring to Duterte.

(Even he wants to defer the implementation of the law. He told me, ‘not this time’)

The senator said that the law will take into effect at the appropriate time. “Darating din ang panahon na mai-implement ito dahil batas na po ito. Importante po yung information campaign. Ano ho ba ito, bakit ba ipinasa ito at ano ho bang mabuting idudulot nito?

(Someday we will have to implement this law since it has already been signed. What’s more important is an information campaign to explain what this law is about, the reasons it was passed, and the benefits it brings)

Baby in car seat

Parents will still need to take the necessary measures to protect their children while in transit

>>> Related: Is it wise to buy or sell used child car seats?

In the meantime, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will embark on a “soft enforcement” of the law, with warnings given to violators in lieu of the standard penalties.

Signed on February 22, 2019, Republic Act 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act aims to protect children from injury in the event of vehicular accidents, and was originally scheduled to take effect on February 2. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that more than 12,000 or 17 percent of road crash victims between 2006 and 2014 were children.   

The law requires motor vehicles to be outfitted with the appropriate child restraint systems (CRS) for young passengers up to 12 years of age and with a maximum height of 4 feet 11 inches. Non-compliance carries penalties of up to Php 5,000 and a year’s suspension of the driver’s license.

Many have criticized the law for presenting an undue financial burden for families as the country continues to grapple with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baby sleeping in car seat

Government data showed that 17 percent of road crash victims are children

>>> Related: Choosing a car seat for your child: 5 critical factors to consider

Even the law’s author, former senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, expressed his support for postponing the law’s implementation, given prevailing quarantine measures that prohibit children from going outside.

“Anyway, the children have to be home. There’s no school. Supposedly they’re not traveling so it (RA 11229) becomes moot and academic. So, while there’s (a) pandemic, I would also suggest holding in abeyance the implementation of this particular law,“ he said.

Find more transport-related updates at Philkotse.com.

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Author

Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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