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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 3, 2012 (PIA)—Intent on easing out access to consumers and motorists securing the proper stickers on their previously bought crash helmets, the Department of Trade and Industry opens up a desk at a local mall here to enhance its services. 

DTI Consumer Division Chief Jose Hibaya bared this at the Kapihan sa PIA just as the country implements the mandatory motorcycle helmet law August 1, upon all motorcyclists and their back-riders while on the road. 

The DTI opens up a Product Standards (PS) mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) marks in hologram stickers at the Activity Center of the Island City Mall for the whole month of August, Hibaya revealed. 

This is to ease out access of consumers and motorists who find it hard to get to the DTI in its second floor office at the FCB Building along CPG North Avenue. 

The refunds on certification fees for those who have previously paid to the DTI is still served at the local office however, Hibaya said. 

Motorists who have seen this development hailed the decision as a sign of goodwill for the government to the motorists who have yet to secure the proper marks on their helmets bought before the law took effect. 

In the implementation, by joint memorandum with the Department of Transportation and Communication, the DTI is mandated to check on the standards of each motorcycle helmet in the market while making sure that proper and standard crash helmets are used in the streets. 
According to Republic Act 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Law, the DTI, through the Bureau of Products Standards conducts a mandatory testing of all manufactured and imported motorcycle helmets in the Philippines. 

A PS or ICC mark is issued to all manufacturers and importers of standard protective motorcycle helmets whose products pass the standards tests,” said DTI Bohol provincial director Ma. Elena Arbon. 

On the other hand, Hibaya bared that by law, all motorcycle helmets that can be secured in the markets today should already have the ICC or PS marks, as mandated by law. This means, the DTI is not anymore issuing the standard stickers to new helmets without stickers, he warned. 

However, some enterprising businessmen have sold in the market helmets of dubious origins, these having no PS or ICC marks. This makes the DTI task equally challenging, admits Vierna Teresa Ligan, DTI Bohol spokesperson. 

Also, according to Arbon, the local DTI is tasked to issue certifications to previously purchased crash helmets that have passed the Bureau of Products Standards (BPS) of the Philippines but of which, the product have not been stamped with the correct markings. 

The task has been centered at the DTI office, which is not as accessible compared to the mall venue. 

The DTI issues the certification to old helmets based on a partial list of accredited helmet manufacturers whose products passed Philippine standard tests from 2009 to 2012. 

This means that manufacturers of helmets which had secured the BPS green-light earlier than 2009 may not be in the list anymore. 

On this, Hibaya said the BPS list has grown to 64 certified local and imported manufacturers, a list which can be available at the DTI. (30)

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