The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading House Bill 6570 which seeks to prohibit leaving children eight years old and below unattended in motor vehicles.
The bill provides that no child younger than the developmental age of eight years shall be left unattended inside a motor vehicle without supervision by a person aged 18 years or older under any of the following circumstances: the conditions present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety; the engine of the motor vehicle is running; or the key to the motor vehicle is anywhere inside the motor compartment of the vehicle.
The bill provides for a penalty of P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense and P50,000 with confiscation of the driver’s license for the third offense. Any subsequent offense shall carry the penalty of revocation of the driver’s license.
It mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to conduct a nationwide public awareness campaign on the prohibition and dangers of leaving children unattended inside motor vehicles.
The LTO, in consultation with the member-agencies of the Council for the Welfare of Children, shall issue the implementing rules and regulations of the measure once it is enacted into law.
Authors of the bill expressed the belief that through education and legislation, the injuries and deaths caused by the dangerous practice of leaving children unattended in motor vehicles can be greatly reduced.
They also emphasized that parents, relatives or guardians should always be made aware that unsupervised children in a motor vehicle pose a great threat to the kids’ safety and unnecessary emotional burden to their families.
Authors of HB 6570 are Reps. Strike Revilla, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Marlyn Alonte, Manuel Monsour del Rosario, Salvador Belaro, Jr., Greg Gasataya, Pablo Ortega, Michael Romero PhD., John Marvin Nieto, Wilter Wee Palma, Dale Malapitan, Lianda Bolilia, Johnny Pimentel, Eric Martinez, Jose Enrique Garcia III, Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Tricia Nicole Velasco-Catera, Emmanuel Madrona, Alberto Ungab, Vicente Veloso, Deogracias Victor Savellano, Aniceto Bertiz III, Jericho Jonas Nograles, Ma. Lucille Nava, Ma. Theresa Collantes, Horacio Suansing, Estrellita Suansing, Lorna Bautista-Bandigan, Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos, Alexandria Gonzales, Ma. Lourdes Aggabao and Angelia Tan.