By Analou De Vera
The World Health Organization (WHO) has lauded the signing of a law that requires vehicle owners to use child restraint systems which will ensure the safety of children while traveling.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulates the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act or Republic Act 11229. The initiative makes Philippines among the few countries in Asia to pass child restraint legislation,” said the organization.
“We congratulate the legislators and road safety advocates who together have worked hard during the past years to push the passage of this child restraint legislation,” it added.
The law restricts children from sitting in the front seat of a vehicle and requires the use of seatbelts.
“In the Philippines, more than 600 children die from road crashes each year. The legislation is a significant step towards prioritizing the safety and welfare of infants and children on Philippine roads, and preventing traffic-related deaths and injuries,” WHO said.
It said child restraints keep children from being thrown or ejected from the vehicle during sudden braking or collisions.
“Evidence has shown that child restraints reduce the likelihood of a fatal crash by approximately 70 percent among infants and between 54 to 80 percent among young children,” WHO said.
The organization assured that it will continue to provide “technical assistance” to the national government particularly during the drafting of the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
“With proper implementation and enforcement, this law will save the lives of many children over the next years,” it said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also lauded the passage of the law saying that the effectivity of child restraint systems has long been proven.
“First World countries are way ahead in enforcing that particular law. So, it will help. Certainly, it will lessen injuries once they figured in a car or vehicular accidents,” Duque said.