Senate panel recommends creation of transport safety body

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2019 11:46 AM

MANILA - A Senate committee has formally recommended the creation of a transportation safety body.

The proposed National Transportation Safety Board will investigate all transportation accidents, determine compliance with safety standards, and conduct studies on safety and improvement, according to the committee report of the Senate public services committee.

The panel's chair, Sen. Grace Poe, said there is a need for a sole agency that will focus on accident investigations.

Under Senate Bill 1077, the substitute bill for the ones filed by Poe and Sens. Ramon Revilla Jr. and Sonny Angara, the NTSB will conduct independent investigations on air, highway, railroad, pipeline and maritime accidents.

The NTSB shall have original jurisdiction over these incidents, although other government agencies may also conduct their own investigation.

"Transportation mishaps exact an appalling toll in terms of death, injuries, medical costs and damaged properties. Behind these are the social costs of grief and sufferings of the victims and their families that are hard to quantify," Poe said in a statement.

Poe said the body will determine what can be done to improve regulations, training or certain aspects of the vehicle or the environment to prevent future accidents.

“The NTSB can save lives that should not be lost in the first place. It can avoid preventable accidents. It can avert injuries. It can keep properties intact. The NTSB is our road to safety,” she said.

The proposed NTSB will have 7 members headed by a chairperson, who will have a term of five years and will have a rank of department secretary. It will also have an executive director, who will manage the day-to-day operations of the body.

The NTSB will be attached to the Office of the President.