Two local government units (LGUs) have partnered with the Center for Policy Studies and Advocacy on Sustainable Development, or known as The Policy Center, to show their commitment to the full implementation of the Republic Act (RA) No. 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act.
During the final episode of Buckle Up, Maria Fatima “Jofti” Villena, Executive Director at The Policy Center, said that authorities from Muntinlupa and San Pedro, Laguna recently concluded a series of virtual trainings aimed to equip LGUs with sufficient knowledge and appropriate skills to implement the RA 11229 in their cities.
Villena shared that the course includes road and traffic safety for children in the context of creating a broader road safety-inclusive and responsive environment. It encompasses all five pillars of road safety, which the LGUs are eager to support.
“By the project name itself, which is mobilizing stakeholders for the implementation of the RA 11229, ay pumayag naman na po sila [na ipatupad ang batas],” Villena said. “Kaya nga po mayroon na po kaming, signed by the mayors, memorandum of understanding. At sila po ay very eager na magpatupad. Isa sa mga itinutulong namin sakanila is to craft their local ordinance on road safety at nakapaloob po dun, under pillar 4, ang child car seats.”
“In fact, noong natapos kami kahapon, akala namin ang gusto lang nila ay road safety code o yung local ordinance. Gusto rin pala [nila] ng local action plan. Ibig sabihin, ito po ‘yung mga mini PRSAP o Philippine Road Safety Action Plan at the local level. So ‘yun yung maipagmamalaki namin sa dalawang LGU, mayroon silang full grasp of road safety at hindi lang yung batas na ito.”
The Policy Center’s approach also includes multi-stakeholder consultation to identify primary gaps and challenges in the full implementation of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, and seeks to further institutionalize this project by working with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Villena said that they are seeking to upload the course module to the DOTR website in the next 3 to 6 months. “From there, puwede na ipromote sa iba’t-ibang LGUs to take the course online. Puwede contact-in ang The Policy Center with or without funding on their part. This is advocacy more than a project alone.”
In talks about the importance of the law, Buckle Up host Rod Marcelino shared, “Maihahalintulad sa pagsusuot ng face mask laban sa COVID-19, ganoon din ang sa child car seat sa loob ng sasakyan para sa kaligtasan ng mga bata. Hindi po ito para lang sumunod sa batas, kundi para maintindihan din ‘yung purpose. ‘Yan ang dapat talaga nating ipa-ulit-ulit na isa-isip at ipaalam sa mga magulang.”
Villena similarly reminded parents and guardians to prepare themselves once the full implementation of RA 11229 takes place. “Paghandaan po natin ‘yung implementation ng batas. Yes po, may cost, pero may cost din ang buhay. Kapag nawala ang buhay sa atin, lalo na sa ating mga anak o pamanagkin, hindi na po natin maibabalik ‘yan.”
“So ‘wag po nating paghinayangan ‘yung konting savings natin sa araw araw para makabili ng isa o dalawang child car seat para sa mga bata ng ating households.”
To learn more about the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, and for the full episodes of Buckle Up, hop on to RMN DXXL 558 Manila’s Facebook page.