Press Release
February 8, 2021

Highlights of Senator Pia S. Cayetano's interpellation on the privilege speech of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III on the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act (RA 11229)

SPSC: I am a car seat child safety advocate. All my children used a car seat way into their older ages. I was asking the Senate President if he agrees with my observation that the implementing agency could have prepared better for the launch of this program? Especially in this time of COVID. I agree with a lot of our colleagues that the timing was not really great. But that was beyond our control. But even with the knowledge that it's going to be applicable, did [the implementing agency] even give [the public] enough time to prepare? To buy? Do the stores even know the standard [when] a mother would go to buy the products for her child? Do they even know para they can stock all of it?

I know this will be taken up in the hearing but since the Senate President already took up the issue, I just wanted to express my observation and ask if he shared my views: number one, [the implementing agency] could have done a much better job in preparing for the date that this would become due, and if this was meant to be postponed, then maybe this should have been postponed anyway; and number two, also media, [in] understanding the importance of this, instead of sadly contributing to it being vilified. And I'll give one example.

I have one news report that I saw, when it reported about the implementation of this law, the photo that they featured was the typical car seat that is strictly used for an infant or a baby 1-2 years old. But I was delighted actually when his honor mentioned "booster seats" because that's what my children used when they were older, it's a booster seat. And it makes people who don't understand this concept understand it better. Exactly how the Senate President said it is, a booster seat. Patataasin ka para hindi ka masakal ng seatbelt. Hindi naman nakakatawa yun. Hindi naman nakakapagtaka yun. Pero hindi yun ang picture na ginagamit so hindi nakakatulong sa situation.

So, Mr. Senate President, do you agree with my observations?

Note: SP Sotto agreed with SPSC's observation.

SPSC: On that note, maybe in the hearing tomorrow, we could expand on these concerns of ours, because we need the media to be our partners here. And I truly felt so bad, I wasn't in the Senate by the way, Mr. Senate President, when you passed that bill. I was in the House. I did not take an active role because I was happy that there was going to be such a law. Pero kapag hindi naman na-explain nang mabuti, then maraming hindi nakakaintindi. And of course, as a lot of us noted, it would be an added expense at this point, and as Sen. Gordon correctly pointed out, hindi naman lumalabas ang mga bata, timely siguro na ma-postpone talaga. But we should be able to discuss this objectively and not in a way that it negates the very importance of this bill.

So thank you, Mr. Senate President for bringing it up and I support the call to look into this so we can prepare better to really be able to support the safety of our children.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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