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Poe: Proposed PH Transportation Safety Board Act can save lives

Published March 7, 2023, 6:24 PM
by Mario Casayuran


The enactment of the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB) bill into law can save lives.

“And not just that, it is also hoped that it can resolve the issues in our transport systems without even causing a shut down. The enactment of this measure will be the first step towards safer and more effective journeys for all Filipinos,” Sen. Grace Poe said in her sponsorship speech of the PTSB bill on Tuesday, March 7 during the Senate’s plenary session.

Poe said the bill was vetoed at the early part of the current 19th Congress on the ground of duplication of functions.

“But the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress saw no duplication—only the need to institute an independent agency with the proper expertise to investigate transportation accidents as per global standards,” she said.

Once passed into law, the Senate public services committee chairperson said the Department of Transportation, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and all those other agencies could investigate these transportation accidents or incidents.

“But much like what we saw during the New Year fiasco at the airport, CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) will never say that they were remiss with their maintenance. When a ship sinks, MARINA will never say that they failed to conduct the proper inspection. And when a fatal train accident occurs, DOTr will never admit that they bought a malfunctioning train or that corners were cut during construction,” she said.

Poe pointed out that CAAP functions as a regulator, operator, and investigator.

“Even CAAP recognizes the disadvantages of these conflicting roles and supports any proposal to separate these functions. Congress had to step in because CAAP couldn’t even figure out what went wrong,” she said.

“This is exactly why we need the PTSB: we need an independent agency that shall conduct independent, thorough, and truthful investigations, and provide corresponding and critical recommendations. Para isang lupon ng eksperto ang mag-iimbestiga at hindi ang paiba-ibang resource persons sa Kongreso (So that there would only be one body of experts that investigate and not different resource persons appearing before Congress),” she added.


Source: https://mb.com.ph/2023/03/07/poe-proposed-philippine-transportation-safety-board-act-can-save-lives/