The 17th Congress passed a bill in 2018 called Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act and it becomes in effect tomorrow (February 2, 2021). This has sparked a lot of criticism from the driving folks. Those who have actually read the bill might be more enlightened, though.
Here are five facts you need to know about the Republic Act 11229 (or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act):
1) Drivers of covered vehicles shall be required to use a ‘child restraint system’ when transporting a 12-year-old (or younger) child or group of children, except when the child is 150cm (59 inches or 4 feet 11 inches) in height or taller. In that case, the standard seat belts will be used as per RA 8750 or the Seat Belts Use Act.
Take note that this applies to children 12 years old (and below) AND under 4 feet and 11 inches in height. Both conditions must be met, otherwise the standard seatbelts will be used.
2) That the child shall not be left inside the vehicle while being secured by the restraint system without an accompanying adult.
3) If the child is 12 years old and younger AND below 4 feet, 11 inches in height, they will not be allowed to use the front seat of the vehicle. Children under 12 years old shall be seated at the back AND with the child restraint system. If your child is under 12 but is taller (at least 4 feet, 11 inches), they will be allowed to seat at the front and use regular seat belts.
Exemptions are applied to children who have medical/physical conditions, in a medical emergency, and other situations to be indicated in the IRR.
4) The DOTr shall study the type of restraints to be implemented for public utility vehicles that are transporting children 12 years old and younger. This implementation might be for a later date.
5). Penalties of PHP 1,000, PHP 2,000, and PHP 5,000 (3rd offense) will be imposed on drivers violating this act.
You can read the full text of Republic Act 11229 here.