MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/02 November)—Owners of around a fifth of the 11,000 motorcycles registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) have turned in their helmets for the mandatory quality standard stickers from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as of October, an official said.
Carlos Labis, head of DTI-Bukidnon consumer welfare and business regulation division, said yesterday that only 2,226 registered motorcycle owners have obtained the quality product standard stickers for their helmets.
Citing data from LTO-Bukidnon, he told MindaNews that at least 8,700 motorcycle owners have yet to submit their helmets for evaluation in line with the implementation of Republic Act 10054 or the Helmet Act.
The law provides that helmets used by motorcycle drivers and their passengers must bear stickers signifying it passed the country’ product standards.
Under trade laws, products sold in the market should bear the PS or ICC marks. PS is for products manufactured in the Philippines while the ICC is for imported products.
Labis said the LTO will enforce the Helmet Act in January 2013. Violators would be fined 1,500 on the first offense, including those who will be caught using a tampered sticker.
He noted that also starting 2013, they will be stricter in pursuing producers and sellers of helmets who do not abide with the required product standards.
Labis said that consumer welfare groups in the province would be tapped to help monitor the compliance of products to the country’s quality standards.
In Bukidnon, there are three consumer rights groups accredited with the DTI, he noted.
Labis said the provincial DTI office has stopped organizing consumer welfare groups but is tapping accredited organizations to act as monitors for consumer welfare protection.
Since 2009, the Market Vendors Association of Valencia City, Inc. has been accredited. The Malaybalay City Rural Improvement Club was accredited in 2011, and the Bukidnon Transport Multi-Purpose Cooperative from Quezon, Bukidnon, just this year. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)