Hold and Shift
After numerous complaints from social media platforms, President Rodrigo Duterte stepped in and put on hold the enforcement of the mandatory car seats for children 12 years and below which is supposedly aimed at protecting children while traveling.
A colleague who has a 12-year-old son but bigger than his age and taller than 4 feet and 11 inches laughed at the imposition of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act.
While my friend acknowledged that car seats are for the safety of our children and grandchildren, it’s the enforcement that is beyond her imagination. I feel her because from what I know based on international standards, there are different kinds of car seats for children.
It’s not as simple as compliance. I’ll fill you in on some of the facts on car seats prescribed for certain age brackets.
One is the rear-facing convertible where infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight and height, which is more often two years or more.
After the age of three, parents have to shell-out money to buy a forward- facing car seat for children exceeding the weight and/or height limit of the rear-facing seat belt. There’s also a belt-positioning booster, which children should use until they reach the height of 4 feet and nine inches based on international standards.
These car seats for children don’t come cheap. They’re pretty expensive with the price range starting at P4,500 to as much as P10,000, depending on the maker and the durability of the product. Some last for three years.
Here in the Philippines, the height requirement is 4 feet 11 inches and below. “As if, Filipino children are taller than other races, like Americans,” my friend quipped, laughing out loud because “di kasya ang anak ko.”
She surmised the mandatory car seat law became the focus of the discussions on social media to take away the heat from the COVID-19 vaccine acquisition and other related news that netizens were preoccupied with.
And true, just like a bubble when prick, it’s gone. Discussions on the car seats went caput with netizens focusing on the long weekend in celebration of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Metal Ox.
The shift was quick and smooth.
I confess that I look forward to the Chinese New Year (CNY) because it gives me renewed aspiration. One of the images cum greetings I received at the stroke of midnight was that of the Ox prominently displayed in glass casing.
The shards of glass quickly turn into a red tarpaulin with Happy CNY inscribed. The transformation was awesome. The 14-second video is an amazing work of technology.
It reminds me of Wall Street’s raging bull.
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