WHO supports helmet law implementation in the Philippines

DOTC Assistant Secretary Dante Lantin and officials from DTI, LTO, MMDA, PNP-HPG and WHO brief members of media on the nationwide implementation of the rules and regulations of the Motorcycle Helmets Law (Republic Act 10054) effective January 2013.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in the Philippines headed by Dr Soe Nyunt-U expressed support for the nationwide implementation of the new rules and regulations of Republic Act 10054, otherwise known as the Motorcycle Helmet Law in the Philippines.

During the media briefing, organized by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) in Quezon City on 25 October 2012, WHO reiterated the necessity of effective enforcement of road safety laws, including the Motorcycle Helmet Law, to save lives and prevent injuries and disabilities from road crashes. Dr Soe was represented during the media briefing by Dr Krishnan Rajam and Dr John Juliard Go, WHO technical officers for injury prevention.

Injury data in Metro Manila indicate that 34% of fatal road crashes and 37% of non-fatal injuries from road crashes involve motorcycles.

DOTC has previously announced the strict enforcement of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10054 on the use and distribution of standard protective helmets come January 2013. DOTC Assistant Secretary Dante Lantin and officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) appealed to members of media to inform the public on the target date of nationwide implementation and the need to use standard protective helmets among motorcyclists. Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) or Philippine Standards (PS) stickers are provided to helmets which pass the criteria set by the Bureau of Products Standards of the DTI.

WHO provided support to the DOTC during inter-agency technical working group meetings to discuss implementing guidelines, and stakeholders’ meetings with traffic enforcers and motorcycle riders’ associations to discuss issues on the nationwide implementation of the IRR of the Motorcycle Helmet Law. Information kit on use of motorcycle helmets to save lives was also developed in collaboration with the Department of Health, with assistance from the WHO

With technical guidance from WHO, a survey in Metro Manila was conducted in collaboration with MMDA to determine baseline behaviour on motorcycle helmet use. Results indicate the rate of helmet use is high at 98%. However, rate of proper wearing and use of quality standard helmets were still relatively low. Fifty seven percent (57%) of motorcyclists surveyed did not fasten their helmets appropriately, and 58% of helmets still did not have ICC stickers, the mark of passing the helmet standards set by DTI.

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Helmet use saves lives