An official of the Land Transportation Office clarified Monday an earlier remark that families with 12-year-olds need to have bigger cars to comply with a law requiring child car seats, saying it was "made in jest."
LTO Metro Manila director Clarence Guinto apologized on Monday afternoon for his remarks earlier in the day and said that children who are taller than 4"11 feet (or at least 5 feet) need not use child car seats.
Earlier, Guinto was asked in an interview with ABS-CBN's Teleradyo about the possible dangers of placing 12-year-olds in child car seats to which he responded: "siguro ma'am laki-lakihan mo ang sasakyan mo."
"I am sorry for the confusion I have caused with my remark, which was made in jest. I realize now that it was inappropriate," Guinto said in a statement.
He clarified that a regular seat belt is enough for children who are taller than 4'11 feet.
The Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act (Republic Act 11229) was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 and takes effect Tuesday, Feb. 2, which means that motorists are required to install car seats for children below 4'11 in height.
Violators face fines from P1,000 to P5,000.