Child Seat Law enforcement on hold

The President has spoken.

Following much debate regarding the Child Seat Law, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of its implementation. That is according to Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go. The President's long-time aid added, “Siya (Duterte) mismo ayaw rin niyang i-implement ito. Sabi niya not this time”.

[He (Duterte) himself said he doesn't want to implement it. He said, not this time.]

This comes after a week following the announcement of its enforcement. Full implementation was supposed to start last February 2, 2021. However, the LTO and DOTr deferred this due to several reasons. One reason is the current economic situation in the country amid the pandemic. Another reason is the special training needed for enforcers because it involves children.

That said, the law was signed as early as February 22, 2019. President Duterte signed Republic Act 11229 which mandates the use of child restraint systems (CRS) among children 12 years old and below with a height of 4 feet 11 inches and below.

“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,” added Go.

[Now, time will come when this law needs to be implemented. The information campaign is important to inform the public. What is it? Why was it passed, and what good can it bring?]

At the moment, the Child Seat Law's implementation date is yet to be determined. That said, the LTO and DOTr will do an information campaign before enforcement starts. Also, child seats must be accredited by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It should adhere to the standards found in United Nations Regulations 44 and 149 that, in turn, come with the Philippine Standards mark or an Import Clearance Certificate.

But what if you already have a child seat before the rule's implementation? You might have to get those checked by the LTO for certification. Also, children who are above 4'11 must wear a seat belt regardless of age, and those 12 years old and below are not allowed to sit at the front. While we're on the subject of age, adults are automatically exempt from the rule, even if they are under the aforementioned height.

Exempt from the rule are teenagers. Those 13 years old and up don't need to be restrained in booster seats, regardless of height. A CRS is also not needed during medical emergencies.