DTI mulls SRP on car seats

Published February 8, 2021, 5:30 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will look into the possibility of implementing a suggested retail price (SRP) on car seats on private vehicles to ensure prices will not skyrocket as government starts to enforce Republic Act 11229 or the Child Safety and Motor Vehicle Act.

DTI Undersecretary Ruth B. Castelo said the DTI can study the possibility of including car seats or child restraint system in the list of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) to be able to impose an SRP on the product.

During her regular Saturday radio program “Konsyumer at Iba Pa!”, Castelo said she can discuss the car seat SRP with DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

(Mark Balmores, MB file)

She explained that BNPCs are defined as products that a consumer cannot live without or can live without but life would be comfortable if you have this product.

Castelo has appealed to big retailers not to raise prices of car seats and advised consumers to buy now.

RA 11229, authored by then Senator JV Ejercto and signed into law by President Duterte in 2019, requires the installation of car seats or child restraint system on all private motor vehicles that carry children 12 years old and below and a height of up to 4’11.

With the completion of the IRR in December 2019, the DTI also issued Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 20-03 series of 2020 requiring mandatory inspection of car seats to ensure their safety, quality and standards.

The DAO will take effect in August this year.  Castelo also urged all importers to apply for accreditation with the BPS. There are no local manufacturers of car seats.

So far, she said, there are two pending applications with the BPS, which will draw samples of the product to be tested by its accredited testing laboratories.

Under the DAO, if the product showed conformance to the standard, the Import Commodity Clearance Certificate is issued by the Bureau of Product Standard (BPS) and the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) mark shall be affixed on the product.

If the product is declared by the BPS to be non-conforming, the BPS shall immediately notify the manufacturer/importer to initiate product recall.

Castelo noted that car seats would really entail additional cost to private motor vehicle owners with young kids, but stressed that this is an investment especially for young couples, but which they can also sell or give away later when they’re no longer needed.

In the same program, Department of Transportation (DoTr) Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran stressed “This (car seat) is to protect kids from car accident. This is really essential with or without the law, you really have to buy this car seat.”

The car seat law already took effect last February 2, but since this is still pandemic time the DoTr has not yet implemented the law strictly. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has instead ordered a massive information drive together with the DTI and Department of Education strictly enforcing the law with corresponding fines and penalty for violators.