Anti-Distracting Law was Suspended by the DOTr

Unless you've been living under a rock, then you will have heard all about the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) and how much confusion and anger it has caused among motorists. Since it was enforced last week, the Internet has been flooded with comments, suggestions, rants, and even lots of hilarious memes. Even senators made their feelings about the new law known. 

According to a report by Rappler, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has suspended the implementation of the law. This announcement came after the House transportation panel pointed that they should not be enforcing the law before conducting a nationwide information campaign. 

As stated in Republic Act No. 10913: "The DOTC-LTO in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and private agencies and organizations shall undertake a nationwide information, education and communication (IEC) campaign for a period of six (6) months from the effectivity of this act."

Transport officials admitted that they hadn't yet conducted a campaign of that nature. Committee chairperson and Catanduanes representative Cesar Sarmiento commented: "It's very clear that [the law] requires [an] information and education campaign for a period of six months from the effectivity of the act. Since the implementing agencies failed to do that, I think it would be unfair for the public na mahuli nang 'di nila naiintindihan ['yong batas]."

"We will abide with the authors of the law, and the COTr (committee on transportation), DOTr will focus more on info dissemination and will hold the enforcement of ADDA," said Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board board member Aileen Lizada. 

In an official statement, DOTr said: "To respond to the call of both Houses of Congress to defer the implementation of ADDA, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) take heed to the Congress, being the authors of the law, to defer the enforcement of Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA).

"Relative thereto, the DOTr shall immediately revive its Technical Working Group to conduct a review of the IRR in coordination with concerned stakeholders.

"An Information and Education Campaign (IEC) shall commence as soon as the new IRR is crafted.

"In the meantime, we invite the public to continue the constructive discussion on this new law so as to contribute on how we could all better promote road safety, discipline, and responsible driving."

This suspension is effective immediately.

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