Lady solon moves for compulsory first aid kits in motor vehicles

MANILA — A lawmaker at the House of Representatives has filed a bill mandating car owners to procure first aid kits for vehicle registration in the country.

Laguna 3rd District Rep. Sol Aragones authored House Bill No. 4312, or the Vehicle Emergency Preparedness Act of 2016, compelling private car owners, government agencies, and franchise openers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) to procure first aid kits for their vehicles as a prerequisite for vehicle registration, as well as for the approval of franchises granted to PUVs.

Aragones said the measure, if passed into law, will save lives by enabling motorists to “immediately respond to medical emergencies on the road.”

The Laguna lawmaker noted the increase in the number of registered vehicles in the country from roughly 5.5 million in 2007 to more than seven million in 2012 with a 29 percent increase over a five-year span, thus also heightening the perils of road mishaps.

According to its Global Status Report in 2015 on road safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there were 1,513 reported road traffic deaths in the Philippines.

The WHO, however, estimates that this number may be greater, and that as many as 10,379 Filipinos died from vehicular accidents in 2015.

“First aid kits do not cost much, with some kits selling for less than a thousand pesos each,” stressed the lady lawmaker.

“This is a small price to pay to ensure that our drivers and pedestrians on the road can receive immediate medical care while waiting to be treated by medical personnel — immediate medical care that could save their lives,” she added.

Under the measure, owners of private vehicles and PUVs would be fined PHP10,000 for each vehicle without a first aid kit. Filane Cervantes/