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Motorists dismayed by New Helmet Law

- Ryan Christopher J. Sorote (The Philippine Star) - July 1, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The initial implementation of Republic Act 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 by the Department of Trade and Industry is being met with complaints by some motorists.

Maria Isabel Gonzales, 23, of Cebu City, was shocked when the helmet she bought for P2,000 was not issued a Compliance Certificate (ICC) sticker from DTI-7.

It was only then she realized that the brand of her helmet was not among the 49 brands that passed DTI’s safety standards.

ICC stickers are issued to imported helmets, while the Product Standard (PS) stickers are issued to all locally-manufactured helmets. Without the appropriate stickers, helmets will be considered as substandard and not fit for motorists.

“I had no plans of buying a new helmet because my old one is still in top shape. I was not expecting that my helmet would not be given a sticker,” Gonzales said.

She asked DTI to consider her helmet because it was reportedly durable and was expensive but to no avail. Instead, she was advised to return her helmet or buy a new one.

Gonzales doubts if she can return the helmet she bought in downtown Cebu.

Another person who has felt the brunt of Republic Act 10054 is company driver Fernando Castro, 40.

Castro said he recently bought a second-hand helmet from a friend but was disheartened when it failed DTI standards.

He thought of returning the helmet to his friend but decided not to because it might lead into a fight between them.

“Mipalit nalang gyud ko og bag-o kontra’s mag-away mi sa akong kumpare,” he said.

Castro bought two other helmets for his wife and young son which costs him P5,000.

Motorist can also purchase new helmets that already have ICC or PS stickers with prices ranging from P1,500 to P2,000 depending on the design.

“Kun wala ang brand sa listahan namo, dili na gyud na pwede,” said DTI-7 Regional Director Asteria Caberte.

Caberte said motorists should be careful in buying new helmets because it is for their own safety.

In Cebu City alone, Caberte said they can issue 400 ICC and PS stickers a day since the law took effect.

DTI-7 reminds law enforcers to be the first ones to comply with the law and set a good example. The department said they are planning to add more brands to their list in the coming months.

The Philippine National Police Highway Patrol group records revealed they apprehend about 127 helmet law violators across the country a day.

Police said that in the past six months, a total of 22,753 violators have been caught after risking their lives by wearing substandard helmets. – (FREEMAN)

CABERTE CEBU CITY COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY FERNANDO CASTRO GONZALES HELMET HELMETS IN CEBU CITY MARIA ISABEL GONZALES REPUBLIC ACT
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