THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had admitted that the country lacks facilities for testing the roadworthiness of motorcycle helmets sold in the Philippines.
The development came after two congressmen said that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) should be in charge of testing helmets that are imported into the country.
During an appropriations committee hearing for the department’s budget in 2014, DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo said that the standards that the department is imposing are based on results of crash testing made in other countries.
“We have national standards for helmets but we don’t have testing centers for that and only rely on other country’s testing companies,” Domingo said.
The trade department is the authorized body to issue Import Commodity Clearance stickers for helmets, which determine that a helmet has passed certain product standards but not actual safety qualifications.
DTI’s admission came after House appropriations committee chairman Pryde Henry Teves asked how the department headed by Domingo decides whether helmets are fit for road use. Both Teves and Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento said that the DOST should have the duty of checking helmets’ safety rating.
Sarmiento and Teves shared sentiments that the science department should come up with the business requirements standards for the said headgear.
“Let science decide on the safety of the riders,” said Teves, a motorcyclist. He added that the move could provide revenues for the government.
For his part, Sarmiento said that the House is willing to provide the assistance needed by the DOST in order to come up with their testing centers locally.
“It’s better to have our own tests here as we are about to enter Asean economic integration by 2015. We could have this so that the safety of the helmet users would not be compromised,” he explained.