The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Bohol has suspended the enforcement of Republic Act (RA) No. 11229 or the Child Safety In Motor Vehicles Act.
LTO Tagbilaran acting chief Yvonne Auza on Thursday said the suspension was ordered by the agency’s Central Visayas office and will last for at least three months to give way for an information campaign on the new law.
The LTO is one of the lead implementing agencies of RA 11229.
“Ang balaod for execution siya pero diri sa Region VII, stand sa atoang director is suspended ang iyang enforcement,” Auza said.
“Sa pagkakaron sa atong opisina gibuhat is an information campaign, ga sige na ta og announce nga sooner or later ipa-enforce g’yud na sa atong gobyerno,” she added.
The LTO official assured that no penalties will be meted out against those who have not yet installed a child restraint system (CRS) or child car seat for minors aged 12 and below who will travel in private vehicles.
She said the suspension may be extended beyond three months but they will still have to await further instructions from higher offices of the agency.
“Hopefully maka come up na sila og unsay sakto na buhaton ana or ipadayon ba o dili gahuwat lang ta sa instruction sa taas,” she added.
Under the law’s implementing rules, children aged 12 or younger and are shorter than 4’11 are prohibited from sitting in the front seat or to be left unattended inside a private vehicle.
The law also mandates that children need to use child restraint systems (CRS) or car seats that are appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
First time and second time offenders will be fined P1,000 and P2,000, respectively.
Those breaking the law for the third time will be slapped with a P-5,000 fine while their licenses will be suspended for a year.
RA 11229 which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 has drawn flak from various sectors including lawmakers due to the timing of its supposed implementation amid the persisting pandemic.
Bohol Third District Rep. Alexie Tutor has called on the Department of Transportation to suspend the full implementation of the law after its Implementing Rules and Regulations were approved and published last month.
Tutor filed on Tuesday Resolution No. 1533 at the House of Representatives urging the DOTr and LTO to suspend the enforcement of the law until six months after the lifting of the national state of emergency which was raised due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Naa pa ta sa pandemya. Daghan ang nag lisod. Dli kini priority sa mga katawhan karong panahona. Nag dugang lang kini sa gastos,” she said. (A. Doydora)