The absurdity of the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) car seat law requiring children aged 12 and below in four-wheeled cars to use a child restraint system couldn’t be more apparent as the issue took over social media by storm on Monday, February 1.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, LTO National Capital Region (NCR) director Clarence Guinto explained the implementation of the law, which took effect on Tuesday, February 2, citing the safety of children 12 years old and younger through the use of booster seats.
“This is for the protection of the children, 12 years old and below, kaya we are seeking the cooperation of the public na makiisa dito sa patakarang ito,” he said.
In the same interview, radio and TV host Amy Perez brought up concerns on the possible dangers the law may pose to bigger children whose families may have smaller cars.
Amy Perez asked: “Kung ang 12 years old sobrang tangkad at siya po ay lalagyan ng booster … aangat at tatama ang ulo sa kotse. Hindi po ba mas delikado ‘yun?”
Responding to Perez’s remark, Guinto said: “Siguro Ma’am Amy, laki-lakihan mo ang sasakyan mo.”
“Ay wala po akong ganu’n. Ang pinag-uusapan po natin dito director Guinto ay karamihan po sa ating mga Kapamilya na kailangan din po nating i-consider po iyon,” Perez replied.
This prompted Guinto simply respond with: “We will take note of that.”
Hours after the interview aired on Teleradyo’s TV and online platforms, Amy Perez went viral on social media and immediately hit the top spot of Twitter Philippines’ top trending topics.
Meanwhile, Guinto issued an apology where he admitted his remarks were inappropriate.
“I am sorry for the confusion I have caused with my remark, which was made in jest. I realized now that it was inappropriate,” Guinto said in a statement.
Guinto also clarified that Republic Act No. 11229 exempts children at least 4.11 feet tall provided they can be properly secured by a regular belt.
“To clarify, if the child is above 4’11, the child is exempted from using a child car seat under the law and may be secured using the regular seat belt,” Guinto said.
Private car owners who will either not comply or violate the law will be fined P1,000 on first offense; P2,000 on second offense; and P5,000 and suspension of the driver’s license for a period of one year on third and succeeding offenses, according to the law’s implementing rules.