February 1, 2021 – This February 2021, the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act or Republic Act 11229, will now be implemented. Children below 12 years old are now prohibited from taking the front seats in vehicles. At first it was not clear LTO just made an announcement without any complete information. But before the day ends, LTO also announced that children below 4.11 feet tall must be secured in a child restraint system, otherwise, they can be secured by a regular seat belt, even if the child is 12 years old or younger.
It is also said that DTI will soon release a list of brands that meets the requirement of RA 11229, which has already been granted a Philippine Standard Mark or Import Clearance Certificate. Those that were purchased prior to implementation of law has to be inspected and certified by LTO.
LTO also announced that they will not immediately issue tickets to violators, as for the next two to six months, information will be disseminate to the public, plus making sure that parents know about the importance of the law. Violators will be fined Php1,000 at the least.
February 2, 2021 – In a turn of events, DOTr and LTO agreed that a deferment of the full enforcement of this act will be made given the economic situation, the pandemic and until a comprehensive information, education and communication has been executed.
Honestly, my family isn’t really affected since we don’t have a car. The whole of last year, my son never went out too. Pre-Covid, we just commute or ride a Grab. But of course, there will always be a time when he would, so being prepared is also what we have to do. Actually, we have a booster seat that Coco has when we went to US in 2017. For our supposed trip last year to the US, I also got a Mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster for Coco. The thing is, at the moment, I am not sure yet if this will be included in the brands that will be approved. But honestly, for parents with bigger children, using a booster seat I think is what already applicable. I hope that our Mifold will be approved, as it is very convenient to someone like us who is used to commuting. Not all Grab cars will have car seats or they may have but may not be age appropriate. So bringing our own, which is the Mifold is a good alternative, as it can easily fit our bags and we don’t have to log around a car seat, wherever we are going.
Many people has reacted to this situation, especially when it wasn’t that clear yet. Parents with big kids that are in the 12 years below range reacted that their child wouldn’t be able to even fit a car seat. Parents with more than one children, 12 years below are confused because of how can their family fit in their car, especially if all their children needs to have a car seat. Some are surprised with LTO’s statement to buy a bigger car. Many people also wondered how it will work with commuters and those who ride the ride-sharing app, Grab.
I believe that this law was made for the greater good and for the benefit of the children. It has long been overdue as well. The thing is information dissemination didn’t happen formally. Announcement of the implementation came a day before the supposed start of implementation as well. It didn’t give parents time to prepare, although it has been in the news for so long. The thing is we are in a pandemic for a year now. Purchasing car seats may have been put to hold as it isn’t an immediate need at the moment, especially we all know that children aren’t supposed to go out of their homes unless it is really needed. Parents has started to do panic buying, when they don’t even know if the car seat they will purchase is going to be on the list of brands that are approved. They may not fine people now, but I think LTO should finalize everything first before laying it all out to the public.
Edited: It is good to know that LTO and DOTr has agreen on postponing the act for now. I just hope they would disseminate complete information as soon as they finished finalizing everything so that parents will have time to prepare on everything they need.
Are you part of the population that has a lot to say about the car seat situation? What do you think about their supposed rules? Please share it with me here at the comment section below.