By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Transportation is eyeing the approval of a bill seeking the creation of the Philippine National Transportation and Safety Board (PNTSB) that would conduct thorough and impartial investigations into transportation-related accidents.
The panel, chaired by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento said his panel will prioritize the passage of the “urgent” measure.
During his State of the Committee Address on Wednesday, Sarmiento laid down the eight legislative priorities of his panel, including the PNTSB bill.
Deputy Speaker and Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, panel vice chairman and author of the bill, cited the need to take appropriate measures to protect lives and properties from transportation-related accidents.
She laments that based on government data, the number of accidents is skyrocketing.
“It is necessary to have an independent body that will provide safety measures, and recommendations to ensure the safety of traveling public,” she said.
She noted that developed countries, like United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia and other European countries have created independent and separate bodies that handle civil transportation accident probes in their respective countries.
Garcia filed House Bill 5042 calling for the creation of a five-man PNTSB, which shall be directly under the Office of the President.
“The PNTSB will be an independent and non-regulatory agency primarily responsible for the analysis, evaluation, and prevention of air, overland and marine transportation accidents, to include railway and pipeline systems,” she said.
The PNTSB shall conduct complete and effective accident probe, recommend and advocate actions to improve transportation safety and mitigate dangers to human lives and property, draw up safety standards in the transportation in the transportation industry and ensure its implementation, and ensure timely and commensurate assistance to survivors and families of victims of transportation accidents.
Tags: Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, House body leans on approving transport board to probe mishaps, House Committee on Transportation, legislative, legislative priorities, Manila Bulletin, Philippine National Transportation and Safety Board