CEBUANO parents approve with reservation the implementation of Republic Act 11229, or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, mandating the use of a child restraint system in motor vehicles.
Recel Nuñez, 26, a housewife with a two-year-old son, expressed her support for the new law, but asked the government to at least make the standardized child safety devices affordable for all.
“We are willing to spend for this child restraint system kay for the safety ra man sab sa mga bata (since this is for the safety of the child). Unta lang kaya ra pod na sa among budget kay dili pod baya tanan kwartahan (We just hope it is affordable since not everyone is rich),” she said.
According to cost evaluation.com, a car seat for children usually costs around P13,000 to P15,000.
Mercedita (real name withheld) 62, a grandmother to children age three and four, admitted there were risks when her grandchildren would ride with her in a motor vehicle without the appropriate safety measures.
A child restraint system is a device, such as a car seat, “capable of accommodating a child occupant in a sitting or supine position” putting into consideration the child’s age, height, and weight.
The law signed by President Duterte on Feb. 22 stresses that no child 12 years old and below would be allowed to sit in the front seat of a motor vehicle with a running engine or while such child is being transported on any road, street or highway unless the child meets the height requirement and is properly secured using the regular seat belt in the front seat.
Jane Michelle Raagas, 33, a nurse, expressed her support to this.
“I’m fine with it because it’s for the safety of my Sky-Sky (my son,)” she said in Cebuano.
For Jonathan Neil Erasmo, a doctor, proper transition and dissemination are keys for the effectiveness of this new law.
“Our primary concern is safety. What is most ideal should be observed. There should be proper transition and information dissemination because the knowledge on safety may not be relayed and most of us don’t give too much attention to our laws,” he said.
The new law demands the Department of Trade and Industry to use standards set by UN regulations, including its evolving standards and other acceptable international standards in the approval or disapproval of child restraint systems that will be manufactured, sold, distributed and used in the country.
DTI Officer-in-charge Cebu Provincial Director Esperanza Melgar, however, said they have yet to review the provisions of the newly signed law. (Wenilyn B. Sabalo, Correspondent)