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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Duterte orders child car seat law deferred

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PRESIDENT Duterte ordered the deferment of the implementation of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act as well as the halt in mandatory compliance to the Motor Vehicles Inspection System (MVIS).

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced these on Thursday following calls from critics to suspend these measures.

“The President has decided; implementation of the child car seats law is deferred. Meantime, MVIS is no longer mandatory. This means, there should be no new fees, no additional charges for registering vehicles,” Roque said, partly in Filipino, in a virtual press briefing. 

The presidential spokesman explained that Duterte came up with these decisions after considering the plight of Filipinos during the pandemic.

The President, he said, sought to strike a “balance” between the people’s travails —not just in the country but all over the world,  because of Covid-19 and African Swine [Fever] or ASF. However, House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said a new legislation must first be enacted before the Child Car Seat Law could be deferred.

“It’s Congress that passed the law requiring child car seats, and it’s Congress that can suspend its implementation,” he said.

He said a joint House-Senate resolution would not suffice because the Supreme Court had ruled in a case involving government nurses’ basic pay that a resolution cannot prevail over a law.

Sought on the President’s legal basis to defer the implementation of Child Car Seat Law, Roque said: “His [President’s] decision not to implement will be basis to amend the law.”

In February 2019, President Duterte signed into law the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act and it was supposed to take effect on February 2 this year but the Department of Transportation decided to defer its full implementation given the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the law, children 12 years and below who are shorter than 4’11 are no longer allowed to sit in the front seat of vehicle. It also requires the mandatory use of child restraint system or child car seats that are appropriate for child’s age, height and weight.

On Tuesday, a Senate panel also re-commended the suspension of operations private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVICs), saying this lacked legal basis.

In 2018, the Land Transportation Office issued a memorandum circular back in 2018 authorizing PMVICs to collect an inspection fee of P1,800 from motor vehicles weighing 4,500 kilograms or less, according to a Senate Resolution No. 634 earlier filed by Senator Grace Poe to look into the operations of PMVICs.

If the vehicle fails the test, it will be required to undergo necessary repairs and taken back to the PMVIC where the motorist is charged an additional P900 reinspection fee to obtain clearance.

On the other hand, motorcycles and tricycles are charged P600 for the inspection fee and P300 for the reinspection fee, if necessary. With Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz

Image credits: Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division via AP
Read full article on BusinessMirror

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