Motorcycle riders who use helmets that do not pass safety standards will be penalized P1,500 to P10,000 plus a confiscation of the driver’s license, concerned government agencies warned last week.
Lawyer Samuel Gallardo, head of the Consumer Welfare and Trade Regulation Division of the Department of Trade and Industry, said the protective helmets used by motorcycle riders must bear the Philippine Standard (PS) mark or the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) seal issued by the Bureau of Product Standards.
Gallardo said the regional DTI office will start issuing ICC or PS seals to owners of protective helmets that passed quality and safety standards on July 31. Even cops using motorcycles must subject their helmets to inspection.
“This campaign was launched purposely to protect the riding individuals, including the public, from being seriously injured due to the rising incidents of accidents involving motorcycles nationwide,” Gallardo said.
He requested motorcycle riders to buy and use helmets that passed PS standards, saying substandard helmets cannot save lives in case of fatal accidents.
To recall, the DTI and the Department of Transportation and Communications issued a joint administrative order (JAO) on the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, which mandates motorcycle drivers and riders to use protective helmets with PS and ICC seals.
The strict implementation of the JAO is set on Jan. 1, 2013.
Gallardo said protective helmets manufactured after March 2010 have PS or ICC marks but a number of helmets made after the said date have no PS or ICC marks.
Helmets without ICC or PS mark can be issued with seal by the DTI provided it passed the safety standards.
Gallardo clarified that retailers of helmets cannot bring bulk of the product to the DTI for inspection and sealing. The owners of the protective helmets will be the one to apply for ICC or PS seal.
The DTI or DOTC has a way of detecting fake ICC or PS seal.
Records show there are 33 authorized manufacturers and importers of protective helmets in the entire country.
Latest statistics show there are 4.3 million motorcycle owners in the country today but only 641,000 helmets inspected from 2009 to 2012 have ICC or PS seal.
Under RA 10054, any motorcycle rider found using a substandard helmet will be penalized P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense.
Those who will be caught for the fourth and subsequent offenses will be fined P10,000 and their licenses will be confiscated or revoked.