Helmet law enforcers have agreed at least temporarily that enforcement of this national law will only be in national highways and not in city streets and barangays, where its enforcement will only give undue inconvenience because of the proximity of destinations.
Also, helmets covering the faces of drivers is not allowed. But covering the ears with the helmet poses a great danger because the motorists cannot hear warnings and horns from the riders’ back.
The local leaderships of the Land Transportation Office and Provincial Highway Patrol Team reached a consensus with the city government to enforce helmet use only in the national highways and not in city streets or barangay roads for the time being.
This temporary arrangement is to provide ample time for information drive and for motorists to purchase the prescribed helmets in accordance to the appeal of Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo and members of the City Council.
Among the points of consensus are: Enforcement of the use of helmet in the major/national highways particularly in the boundaries of Dumaguete-Valencia, Dumaguete-Bacong, Dumaguete-Sibulan, north national highway and port area. No apprehension yet in city streets and barangay roads. For the record, the national highways include Perdices Street (Robinson to Silliman Farm), Real Street (Robinson-public market-north city limit), Silliman Avenue up to City pier and Dumaguete-Valencia road.
However, Mayor Remollo suggested for LTO and HPG to concentrate their implementation of the law in the boundaries first.
Second, conduct massive information drive prior to full implementation and to provide ample time for motorists to buy helmets in compliance to the national law.
Third, propose a local ordinance that will provide lower penalties on non-use of helmets. Mayor Remollo personally favors lowering it from P 1, 500.00 per LTO rate to P 200.00 or P 300.00. Fourth, no apprehension for Motorcabs-for-hire with more than three (3) passengers.
To finally get rid of the law, Councilors Alan Gel Cordova, Lilani Ramon, Joe Kenneth Arbas, Agustin Miguel Perdices, Estanislao Alviola, Michael Bandal and Manuel Arbon also introduced a resolution urging Congress (both House of Representatives and Senate) to abrogate Republic Act 10054 (RA 10054), known as the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 and authorize city and municipal governments to pass its own ordinance that will reflect and be responsive to local setting to include possible exemptions.
For this purpose, they have enlisted the help of Cong. Arnie Teves, ironically of the 3 rd District since they believe, 2 nd District Cong. Manuel Sagarbarria, whose district covers Dumaguete City has failed to author the measure that would repeal the national helmet law.
Present during the dialogue with city official are Regional Operations Officer Macario Getaruelas, LTO Dumaguete Chief Alberta Janine Lawas and HPG Team Leader Sr. Inspector Silvestre Cenia.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, who was joined by City Councilors during the dialogue, urged the LTO and PHPT to approach the issue not only as an uncompromising enforcer of the law but also as an advocate to help inculcate in the minds of the people that this requirement is primarily for their safety.
“The people must learn to wear helmets not because the law mandates it but because they honestly believe it will save their lives, which is far more precious than the cost of helmets or the inconvenience in using them,” Mayor Remollo stressed.