President Duterte has signed Republic Act 11229, or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, making it a law.
This makes it a requirement to use child car seats in vehicles when transporting children.
"It shall be unlawful for the driver of a covered vehicle not to properly secure at all times a child, in a child restraint system while the engine is running or transporting such child on any road, street, or highway unless the child is at least 150 centimeters or 59 inches in height and is properly secured using the regular seat belt. The child restraint system shall be appropriate to the child's age, height, and weight,” the law reads.
The Act, which consolidates Senate Bill No. 1971 and House Bill No. 6938 was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on December 11, 2018. It was signed into law on February 22, and a copy was released to the media yesterday, March 12.
Some of the main points of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act are:
Children 12 years old and below should be secured in a child restraint system while on the road.
“It shall be unlawful for the driver of a covered vehicle not to properly secure at all times a child, in a child restraint system while the engine is running,” reads the law.
The child restraint system, or a child safety seat, shall be "appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight,” it states.
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Children 12 years and below are not allowed to sit in the front seat of a motor vehicle with a running engine unless they meet the height requirement of at least 150 cm, and properly using the seatbelt.
However, the child restraint system is not required in cases that would put the child in great danger, such as a medical emergency, or when the child has a medical or developmental condition.
Children secured in a child restraint system should under no circumstance be left unaccompanied by an adult inside the vehicle.
A driver found guilty of violating the law shall be fined Php 1,000 for the first offense, Php 2,000 for the second offense, and Php 5,000 and suspension of his/her driver's license for one year for the third and succeeding offenses.
Moreover, tampering of the Import Clearance Certificate (ICC) sticker, which aims to protect consumers from illegal or substandard products, is punishable by a fine of not less than Php 50,000 but not more than Php 100,000 for each child restraint system product.
The new law shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette, or in two national newspapers of general circulation.
Compliance with the law shall only be made mandatory one year after the effectivity of its implementing rules and regulations.