Passage of the creation of a transport safety council pushed – Manila Bulletin
Businesses, industry associations and advocacy groups have urged Congress to speed up passage of the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB) bill, which has lagged in Congress for more than two decades.
Both Houses of Congress deliberate on the reconciled bicameral committee version of Senate Bill 1077 and Bill 9030, creating the PTSB.
“Once ratified by both chambers, the bill can finally be approved for adoption by the president,” the groups said in a statement from a letter sent to the Senate and the lower house on November 4, 2021.
The groups lamented that the PTSB bill has dragged on in Congress for more than two decades. It was only during the current 18th Congress that this bill reached its most advanced stage in both chambers and therefore now has solid prospects for adoption.
The bill seeks to create an independent, non-regulatory body attached to the Office of the President, which would be the primary body responsible for conducting impartial investigations into transportation accidents and incidents.
The main objectives of the Council are to improve transport safety measures which will help prevent transport accidents and mitigate dangers to human life and property; and ensure the implementation of transport safety standards.
At present, different agencies manage different transport sectors with regard to accident investigation. The Philippine Civil Aviation Authority has authority over aviation disasters. Maritime accidents are the responsibility of the Maritime Industry Authority, which forms commissions of inquiry to investigate major maritime disasters.
With regard to road accidents involving public utility vehicles, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is responsible. Traffic accidents may also be investigated by the Philippine National Police, the Land Transportation Office, and the Metro Manila Development Authority. Once enacted, the new PTSB will be able to begin its programs to deter major transportation accidents that kill too many Filipinos.
The bicameral conference committee of the two chambers being convened, the associations and foreign chambers impatiently await the ratification of the reconciled version.
The signatories of the letters are: Philippine Air Carrier Association Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines International Air Transport Association Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Philippine Industry, Inc. Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. Regional headquarters of the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies, Inc. and Safe Travel Alliance.
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