The use of car back seats for children 12 years old and below are now required for all private cars, while letting children stay in the front seat of a moving car is no longer allowed. These are in compliance with Republic Act No. 11229 or the “Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act.”
Starting February 2, 2021, Child Restraint Systems (CRS) such as car back seats specially made for children must be used in private cars to ensure their safety while on the road.
The car seats installed should also be appropriate to the child’s height and weight: “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,” LTO NCR Director Atty. Clarence V. Guinto said in a statement.
Private car owners who will not comply with the law could be charged P1,000 to P5,000 and their driver’s license would also be suspended after the third offense. Meanwhile, manufacturers and retailers who sell substandard products could be charged from P50,000 to P100,000.
The Department of Transportation – Philippines said that it is now required this month, one year since its effectivity:
“The mandatory compliance of the CRS shall be enforced only one year after the effectivity of these rules or the transitory period, or February 2021, to provide a sufficient time for information education campaign and preparation of concerned agencies.”
Only private cars are required to follow this for now, since the DOTr is still studying the feasibility of implementing the same requirements for Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs).