Better buckle up your kids when driving around town as the child seat bill has been officially signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Republic Act No. 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act was signed into law by Duterte last February 22. It was only yesterday, however, that Malacanang release a copy of the signed document to the public.

The new law aims to safeguard children and infants riding in vehicles, helping prevent death or serious injuries in case of a traffic related accident. It states that children aged 12 years old and below should be secured in a ‘child restraint system’ or child seat while on the road. They are also not allowed to sit in the front seats unless they meet the height requirement of 150cm, and can properly use the standard seat belt. Furthermore, the law states that the seat must be appropriate for the child’s age, height, and weight.

Aside from the mandatory use of a child restraint system, the new law states that under no circumstances should a child be left unaccompanied by an adult inside the vehicle. 

Drivers found violating the law shall be fined Php 1,000 for the first offense, Php 2,000 for the second, and Php 5,000 and a one-year suspension of his/her driver’s license for the third and succeeding offenses. Meanwhile, tampering, altering, forging and imitating the PS mark or Import Clearance Certificate (ICC) sticker is also punishable by the law. Those found doing so will be fined no less than Php 50,000 but not more than Php 100,000 for each child restraint system product.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other government agencies must undertake a nationwide campaign of the new law within six months from the passage of the act. The DOTr must also coordinate with Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and other agencies in implementing the rules and regulations.

The act consolidates Senate Bill No. 1971 and House Bill No. 6938 was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2018.