Many of my friends are asking me about whether I’ve already gotten an ICC sticker for my helmet and about what it’s for. Because I really didn’t know much about this, their questions led me to research for some answers. The information I found may be useful for other Filipino motorcycle drivers, especially because the deadline for getting stickers is December 31, 2012 and traffic enforcers can start flagging us down to inspect if we have stickers by January 1, 2012. (source: DTI, ABS-CBN)
Some of you reading this might find this rule very irritating. Well, you are not alone. The video below shows how much hassle getting a sticker already caused to many riders:
Okay, okay… my objective here is not to incite your emotions. I just hope to share some information which we all might find useful since regardless of how we feel, this law is being implemented anyway. So, here’s what I found out…
This whole concern about stickers is based on a government policy, “Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009” or RA 10054, which aims to ensure the quality of our helmets for our safety as motorcycle riders. (source: Inquirer)
The ICC or PS sticker will be the indicator law enforcers will look for to tell whether a helmet does pass the quality required by the law. “ICC” stands for “Import Commodity Clearance.” ICC stickers are generally issued by DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards to certify that the quality of the imported products on which the sticker is found pass government standards. This sticker is issued to different manufacturers and is placed in different kinds of products (not just helmets) that are inspected by the government before they can be sold: appliances, Christmas lights, children’s toys, etc. (source: Inquirer) We hear “ICC sticker” more often because most helmets in the Philippines are imported, but there is also a type of sticker for locally manufactured helmets. “PS” stands for “Philippine Standard”. This is the sticker placed on locally made products that also pass DTI’s standards. (Source: Interaksyon) Both stickers are normally issued by the government to the importers and retailers, and not to the consumers. This means that the responsibility for the quality of the things we buy lie on those selling the products to us and the government agency that is supposed to be checking these products.
From the time RA 10054 has been implemented, we, as consumers or helmet-buyers, should expect to find the stickers on all the helmets we can choose from in all the stores in the Philippines. The problem, however, is that DTI realized that many of us, motorcycle riders, are already not wearing their ICC or PS certified helmets and because we have already bought them, they have to check our present helmets as well. So, the helmet-sticking process is just a one-time move by DTI to catch up on the thousands of helmets sold before they decided to make the stickers a requirement for all helmets.
In order to enforce the Act, penalties have been assigned not just for the people selling the helmets but also for us who are using helmets. Let me focus on the penalties assigned for us–
Penalties for NOT wearing an ICC or PS certified helmet:
Section 7. (a) Any person caught not wearing the standard protective motorcycle helmet in violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine of One thousand five hundred pesos (Php1,500.00) for the first offense; Three thousand pesos (Php3,000.00) for the second offense; Five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00) for the third offense; and Ten thousand pesos (Php10,000.00) plus confiscation of the driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses. (Source: RA 10054)
Penalties for using a helmet that is not ICC or PS certified:
Section 7. (c) Any person who uses, sells and distributes substandard motorcycle helmets or those which do not bear the PS mark or the ICC certificate shall be punished with a fine of not less than Three thousand pesos (Php3,000.00) for the first offense; and Five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00) for the second offense, without prejudice to other penalties imposed in Republic Act No. 7394 or the “Consumer Act of the Philippines”. (Source: RA 10054)
Okay, I’m not a lawyer but I guess anyone who can read can say that the penalties are really quite heavy which makes it enough reason for us to fear getting caught. I must admit though that these penalties are quite confusing. Section 7a imposes penalties on those not wearing the certified helmet while Section 7c imposes penalties on those wearing helmets that are not certified. So, if I’m wearing a helmet without an ICC or PS sticker, I can be asked to face both penalties? (If anyone reading this would like to enlighten me and other readers of this post, you are very welcome.)
Like life, which can really suck, there is still always a good side. A good side I see to the law is that it protects our right as motorcycle riders to wear our helmets (as long as their certified), and even makes helmet-wearing a duty. Why do I think this is a good thing? I’ve been to some places in the Philippines–provinces and subdivisions–where wearing helmets are prohibited in order to lessen the incidence of crime which people often associate with guys riding in tandem. However, I don’t think riders who would like to be safe should be deprived of helmet protection. I hope I can invoke Section 3 when someone prevents me from driving without my helmet again:
Section 3. Mandatory Use of Motorcycle Helmets. – All motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders, shall at all times wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving, whether long or short drives, in any type of road and highway. (Source: RA 10054)
So, does your helmet already have an ICC or PS sticker? Because of there are really many of us, the deadline for getting our helmets certified or stickerified, which used to be August 1, 2010, has been extended to Dec. 31, 2011. (Source: ABS-CBN) Starting Jan. 1, 2013, penalties will already be applied.
DTI released a list which states which brands are eligible for certification:
LIST OF DTI-CERTIFIED MOTORCYCLE PROTECTIVE HELMET (As of 24 July 2012) (which unfortunately also means don’t bother lining up if your helmet brand didn’t make it to the list.) Now, helmets recently bought (around 2010 and onwards) already have ICC or PS stickers so check your helmet and if it already has one, then there is no need for you to panic. You don’t need to do anything anymore. However, if your helmet doesn’t have one, okay… panic!
Fortunately, you still have a few days to do something:
Option 1: Get a sticker NOW
Inspection and sticker-putting schedule depends on the last digit of for you plate number: 1 and 2 (Monday), 3 and 4 (Tuesday), 5 and 6 (Wednesday), 7 and 8 (Thursday), 9 and 0 (Friday). (Source: DTI) But since it’s already December and there are only a few days left before the deadline, I don’t know if they will still be strict about this. DTI centers are open from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Source: Interaksyon)
- Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium – P. Ocampo St., (formerly Vito Cruz St.), Malate, Manila
- DTI Area Office, Hi-way 54 Plaza, 986 Stanford St., EDSA, Quezon City (infront of SM Megamall)
- DTI CAMANAVA Area Office, 5F Araneta Square Mall, Bonifacio Monument Circle, Rizal Ave. Ext. cor. Samson Rd., Caloocan City” (Source: DTI)
What to bring (Source: DTI):
Two copies of filled-out application form. You may download the application form right here: REQUEST FOR HELMET/VISOR ICC STICKERS or you may get a hardcopy from DTI offices.
Any government-issued IDs, photocopy of government-issued ID
Photocopy of motorcycle registration
According to DTI, the application form and processing for the ICC is free of charge.
Option 2: Buy new helmet NOW
You can refer to the list of brands released by DTI to determine which helmets are okay to buy. Also, make sure that the helmet you’ll get already has an ICC or PS sticker. I personally prefer to buy at Motoword Philippines. They have branches at Greenhills, Fort Bonifacio, Trinoma, Mall of Asia and Libis. They also sell many other genuine biker stuff other than helmets.
Should you have any questions or concerns, you may contact DTI–
- DTI Call Center: (+632) 751.3330, (+63917) 834.3330
- DTI Website: www.dti.gov.ph
A Little Critique
While I see some good intention behind this new policy, I also understand why many motorbike riders have gotten irritated. As I mentioned earlier, the quality of the products we buy should be the responsibility of importers and stores under the supervision of DTI. The burden should not be placed on us, the consumers. We should not have the burden of proving that what we bought is original (same goes for clothes, Christmas lights, appliances, electric tape, etc.). This law makes us liable if we bought something fake without even knowing that what we bought is fake. I agree with Randy David’s opinion shared in Inquirer:
“Yet it is so typical of our laws that the many are made to suffer for the recalcitrance of a few. If our officials had been more conscientious in ensuring that all products brought into the country met minimum standards, we would not be in this situation.” (source: Inquirer)
Other references you may want to check out:
- HELMET LAW RA10054 – MRO on punto por punto by Anthony Taberna
- How a Standard Motorcycle Crash Helmet is Designed?
- Are You Wearing the Right Motorcycle Crash Helmet?
- Finding the Right Motorcycle Helmet (allstate.com)
- Helmet inspections to start on January 2013 (leytesamardaily.net)
- DTI:Registration for ICC markings of helmets only until December 21 (leytesamardaily.net)