The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will implement the Motorcycle Helmet Act next month with or without the help of local governments. “We will implement the law as the main office ordered. It will be a nationwide campaign. Our enforcers will be around to watch riders,” said LTO-7 Regional Director Aguilos. But motorcycle riders won’t be penalized immediately if they are wearing full-face helmets as required by the new law, he said. If the helmets just lack the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) or Philippine Standard (PS) stickers, they will given a warning and advised to go to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office to get the sticker. They have until Dec. 31, 2012 to comply with this Helmet Act requirement, said Aguilos. But those caught not wearing helmets at all or improper head gear risk a fine of P1,500 for the first offense and confiscation of their driver’s license. Violators will pay P3,000 for the second offense. Third-time violators will pay P5,000 and P10,000 plus their driver’s license will be confiscated for the fourth and succeeding offenses. Starting January 1, 2013, violators will be slapped fines, Aguilos said. The LTO-7 chief reminded helmet manufacturers to make sure that their products meet quality standards set by the DTI. “We’d like to urge the public to follow the law since this is for everyone’s good,” said Aguilos. He denied that the law is “anti-poor” as charged by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. “If they can buy a motorcycle, how much more a helmet?” Aguillos said. DTI Cebu provincial director Nelia Navarro agreed, saying the law will protect motorcycle-for-hire (habal-habal) drivers and their passengers. Navarro said she plans to send a copy of the guidelines of the law to Mayor Rama. “If they really have a problem with the law they can address it to Congress, which passed the law. DTI is only mandated to check the helmets and accredit. They are barking at the wrong tree,” said Navarro. Since DTI started the campaign in June 26, Navarro said over 5,000 motorists have processed their accreditation by paying the 100 processing fee and the P1.25 for the ICC sticker. “The number of people coming to our office everyday is increasing. We are just following the law,” Navarro said.