August 1, 2012
Stop proliferation of fake helmets- Revilla
Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. today called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to act on the proliferation of fake motorcycle helmets in the country. The call was made amidst complaints from the motorcycle riding public who trooped to their nearest DTI offices to have their existing helmets ICC (Import Commodity Clearance) validated.
Republic Act 10054, or the Motorcycle Helmet ACT of 2009 requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear standard quality helmets approved by the DTI. The DTI has initially set a July 31, 2012 deadline for existing helmet owners to have their helmets inspected and validated with ICC stickers, but extended it to year's end.
The consensus among those waiting in line to have their helmets inspected was it was government's responsibility to ensure that only standard quality helmets are made available for sale to the buying public. Others say that government should not burden consumers to have what they have bought validated, but rather, a burden to government regulators to ensure that what the public purchases are safe and up to par with standards. "May punto naman ang sinasabi ng karamihan. Responsibilidad talaga ng gobyerno na siguruhin na safe at maasahan lamang na mga produkto ang nasa merkado. Kaya dapat paigtingin ng DTI ang kanilang mga programa para siguruhin na walang mga peke at substandard na helmet na ibinibenta. At magagawa lang kung papaigtingin ang pagtutulungan ng DTI at BoC para sa pier pa lang ay harang na," said Revilla.
"Huwag sanang makuntento ang DTI sa paglalagay lang ng ICC sticker. Dapat magsagawa rin sila ng kampanya laban sa pagkalat ng mga peke at depektibong helmet. Hindi naman kasalanan ng mamimili kung biglang peke pala o substandard ang nabili niya dahil kung tutuusin, pagkukulang na 'yan ng DTI at ng BoC. It is clear under the Consumer Act that it is the responsibility of the DTI to ensure the quality of products being sold to the public," the senator added.
Republic Act 7394, the Consumer Act of the Philippines, mandates the DTI is to enforce the law's provisions on deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts or practices, product warranties, and labeling and fair packaging under Title III, Chapters I, III , and IV, respectively."It will serve no purpose to validate helmets already in the possession of the riding public if the sale of fake and substandard helmets is not curbed. Baka later on, pati yang mga validation stickers ma-peke na, and when that happens, we would be putting the public in greater risk and danger instead of promoting their safety," Revilla stressed.
Likewise, RA 10054 makes the DTI responsible against the tampering, alteration, forgery and imitation of the PS mark and the ICC certificates in the helmets. The DTI is also directed to go after those who uses, sells and distributes substandard motorcycle helmets or those which do not bear the PS mark or the ICC certificate.
Based on the Hurt Report which is the basis of most motorcycle safety programs around the world, no element of accident causation was related to helmet use. The significance of helmet use by motorcycle riders is highly recognized and appreciated. Data analysis from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) bared that helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
Severe head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists. Based on According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the number of road accidents involving motorbikes continues to rise for the last six years. In Metro Manila alone an average of 120,000 accidents per year are reported, but a steadily growing number of accidents related to motorcycles have nearly doubled from 9.4 percent (11,475) in 2005 to 14.6 percent (20,518) in 2011.
"Based on various government and news reports, there were 39 fatalities in motorcycle-related accidents mostly involving victims not wearing helmets and those caused by the use of defective helmets for the first three months of 2012," Revilla ended.
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