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223 Advocating for a law mandating child restraint systems use in the Philippines
  1. Daphne Marcelo1,
  2. Maria Fatima Villena2,
  3. Julia Umapas3
  1. 1Imaginelaw, Pasig City, Philippines
  2. 2Center for Policy Studies and Advocacy on Sustainable Development, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
  3. 3Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Quezon City, Philippines


Context In advocating for a child restraint systems (CRS) law to protect minors in motor vehicles in the Philippines, a coalition of CSOs encountered challenges related to popular misconceptions about child road safety. Among these were the low benefits that a CRS law could bring to a population that extensively use public transportation and/or motorcycles; the high prices of CRS making a CRS law ‘anti-poor’; and poor knowledge from enforcement agencies and general population of the correct usage of CRS.

Process In addressing these challenges, advocates developed an advocacy campaign that positioned CRS as a shared responsibility between parents and carers, government, manufactures, and retailers. Evidence generation allowed advocates to demystify ideas about availability, affordability, and acceptability of CRS in the Philippines, and to build a case for the enactment of a CRS law. In 2019, the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act (Republic Act No. (RA) 11229) was passed.

While full implementation at the national level has been delayed for different factors, government partners have advanced on capacity building for effective enforcement.

Outcomes Advocacy efforts did not stop with the passage of the Act; thereafter, efforts changed focus to implementation of the Act. The coalition has:

  • Developed subnational policies to operationalize law enforcement and to establish a network of fitting stations, where trained fitters can assist parents to install and use CRS;

  • Engaged with local government units to develop local CRS regulations; and

  • Partnered with the government to inform and raise public awareness.

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