WTF Is The Motorcycle Helmet Act

The Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 provides that all riders including back riders are obliged to wear ICC and PS-marked helmets. Violators will be penalized with P1,500 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense, P5,000 for the third and P10,000 in addition to the confiscation of the driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offense.

I agree with implementing standards on helmets for protection. However, many are complaining that they’ve just learned about this law recently. I do believe that the government has issued an information drive to disseminate the information, but reality bites and it seems many riders are still unaware about this until it was shown on TV that there was a long line of riders who wanted to register their helmets.

Also, many are shouting in the streets saying “The corruption in the Philippines is again taking effect!”, because of the facts that all those with cheap helmets will spend up to Php 3k again to buy the more appropriate, safety-approved helmets,  register and pay for those damn stickers, a percentage of these goes to the VAT and subjected to possible corruption, this could also just give police and traffic enforcers more excuses to stop and harass riders during checkpoints and questionable traffic violations. They can stop you, collect money and then let you go… only to be caught again by the next cop!

Good thing that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had already made a memorandum agreement with the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) for the postponement of its implementation. Instead of Aug.01, 2011, it is now move to January 01, 2013! So, no apprehension muna, until Jan. 01, 2013. Pero sana, wag na natin ulit hintayin na malapit na deadline before tayo kumuha ng sticker, or else, same old problem ulit.

The said Act should have also considered helmets from abroad with the ISO mark or sticker.  It is ironic because DTI says ” kahit mumurahin basta nasa listahan”.  I think the RA should be revisited considering that almost all, if not all, imported helmets are within standards made of durable material like fiberglass which could adequately protect the skull, unlike the cheap kinds which would in fact, cause skull injury because they would easily chip or break.

However, DTI may also be correct in saying “kahit mumurahin basta nasa listahan”. Cost of any product should not be the basis of its quality. When DTI included anyone from the list, we are rest assured that it undergone the process of quality check. Masyado  po kasi tayong nagpapaniwala na basta mahal, maganda ang quality,at kapag mumurahin naman ay mahina. Yan siguro ang gustong i-disprove ng DTI, that we should not rely solely on the price of the product to prove its quality. Yan din po ang problema bakit hindi makapag move on ang Pilipinas kasi ang hilig pagbasehan ng quality ang presyo kaya tuloy yung mga produkto ng Pilipinas kailangan pang ibenta na din ng mahal o kaya kumuha ng tatak sa ibang bansa para “KUNO” gumanda ang quality, dahil kung mura o walang tatak ng ibang bansa ang produkto ng Pilipinas dehins mabibili.

Paano naman yung mga helmet na binili sa ibang bansa dahil wala dito or yung mga trusted brand ng ibang nagmomotor na hindi available dito pero DOT and ECE approved and may ISO. Paki-isip na lang kung sakali ba na isali sa motogp yung helmet na may ICC sticker tingin ninyo ba ay papasa yun ng basta-basta kung hindi sya DOT and ECE approved? Ang mga ina-approve ng DTI is yung mga helmet na halatang galing sa mga tindahan na kumukuha sa lugar na alam mong bagsakan ng mga pekeng helmet then basta nakita nila yung tatak na nasa listahan nila ay OK na agad? Makakabili ka ba ng siguradong quality helmet sa murang halaga?

What motorcycle riders also don’t understand is how all these “imported” helmets came into the Philippine market yet they do not have the ICC stickers in the first place. The burden is now put on the consumer’s shoulders. It’s always Juan dela Cruz who’ll need to suffer for the government’s short comings.

Ang ICC mark ay para sa mga imported na product, at PS mark naman para sa local product na dumaan na sa masusing pagsusuri ng DTI-BPS. So whatever mark meron ang brand ng helmet ninyo, dahil dumaan na ang brand na yan sa quality standard ng DTI-BPS, ok na yan. Agad na kayong didikitan ng sticker ng DTI standard sticker. Yan ang mabilisang pagkilatis ng DTI para malaman kung may quality ang helmet (common sense, kung iisa-isahin ulit na kilatisin yang bawat helmet ng DTI-BPS, baka po hindi lang sa EDSA Ortigas station ang pila na mga motoristang kukuha ng stiker, baka umabot na po ng SLEX o NLEX).

Tungkol sa tanong na “makakabili ka ba ng siguradong quality helmet sa murang halaga?”, ang sagot ko po sa inyo dyan, kung alam ninyo na palang peke yang binibili nyong helmet, bakit ninyo pa binibili, sino ba ang nililoko nyo, DTI ba o kayo mismo?.

In short, nasasainyo na yan kung alam ninyong peke pala yang kinukunan ninyo ng stiker, basta ang DTI, once na nakita na kasama sa listahan ng mga quality brand yang helmet ninyo, didikitan po iyan ng standard sticker in compliance sa bagong batas.

Ibig bang sabihin kahit peke yung helmet basta kapareho ng tatak ng isa sa mga nasa listahan ng dti pasado na rin at didikitan na ng sticker?

Sadly, it’s the ministerial duty of DTI to issue the sticker if it is not obvious that it’s fake and complied with the safety conditions of helmet. The officers will mainly rely on the information you provided with your application form and the condition of the helmet (may checklist doon sa form).

However, a sort of WARNING, you can be penalized for PERJURY if you will provide wrong information in your application form. Remember that before you can have that sticker, you will fill out the application form stating among others the brand and source of your helmet and certify that all information therein are correct by affixing your name and signature.

Director Aguilos has also warned that LTO-deputized enforcers of traffic laws, when making arrests for violation of the prescribed use of helmets, must not invoke RA 10054. Instead, they must be invoking RA 4136 and DOTC Order No. 2008-039.

Requiring riders to wear helmets was really a good idea and that should have been the gist of this law.  But it seems the implementers are more interested in earning from this ICC and PS stickers.  They could just discard this ICC and PS stickers idea and just require riders to wear helmets of the approved brands and apprehend those who are either not wearing any helmet at all or who are wearing damaged helmets or helmets without straps.  Just make sure that the shops or stores should sell helmets that passed DTI and LTO’s standards. We don’t need to burden our citizens with additional expenses, and subject them to the tedious effort of falling in queues, and like I said earlier, the sticker requirement could also just tempt police and traffic enforcers to take advantage of uneducated riders.

Alam ninyo kasi, napakaganda ng mga batas natin. Kaya lang dahil na din sa talas at tusong pag-iisip ng mga Pinoy, nahahanapan pa din ng butas at kabulastugan. Huwag na nating lokohin ang ating sarili, na bibili ng peke o substandard at inferior na helmet para lang kunwari makasunod sa batas. Para naman sa atin ding kaligtasan ang mga batas na yan. Huwag rin nating payagang makinabang ang mga gahamang abusadong “kurap” ng pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng pag-take advantage ng batas na ito bilang isa na namang panggigipit at pagkakakitaan.

I rest my case.

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About pinoytekkie

News from the Philippines
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