Press Release
July 23, 2009

Pushing to reduce security threats to innocent people

Sen. Edgardo J. Angara today urges the government to address in a more comprehensive mandate the potential threats of terrorism in public transport facilities that disrupts peace, damage properties and diminish confidence in our transport and security system.

"The state is alarmed with the heightened threats of terrorism in public transportation system and various facilities in many international centers such as the attacks in the US Pentagon, the twin towers of the World Trade center and many local security threats including the Super Fairy sinking, LRT Rizal Day bombing and other unlawful acts," said Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

He added, "These untoward incidents demonstrate the need for and require the State to adopt comprehensive security measures, install, implement security program throughout the country to prevent if not eradicate security threats to human lives and properties."

SB 1902, also known as the Philippine Transportation Security Act seeks to enforce more specified anti-terror measures in the country's public transportation system by creating the National Transportation Security Committee (NTSC) that will be a cooperation of government agencies such as the DOTC, LTO, the Air Transport Office (ATO), the MMDA, PNP, LTFRB; railway, airport and seaport authorities; the AFP, the bureaus of Immigration (BI) and Customs (BoC), among others. This body will oversee, define and allocate tasks and coordinate security activities of their agents and operating entities; and to provide comprehensive policy guidelines to promote and develop transport security.

He shared that the bill will likewise give mandate to the Philippine Transportation Security Administration (PTSA) as the single implementing authority to secure all land, air and sea ports; and formulate, develop, issue and enforce security standards, protocols and procedures, practices and policies to prevent risks and incidents. The PTSA will be attached to the DOTC, and will have the cooperation of the travel-related agencies of the government.

The PTSA will control and regulate all transport services and coordinate with the PNP on law enforcement issues. Apart from the current security and risk prevention system, covered in this new bill will be the mandate of the PTSA to conduct investigation of unlawful interferences against the public transport system, facilities and infrastructure and litigate such charges; acquire facilities for and administer baggage and cargo inspections; and manage the personnel involved in security screening, inspection, verification and audit, and fee collections.

Sen. Angara suggests, "The Philippines as a member of the international community of nations has been far-off, if not hopelessly, lagging behind, in adopting and setting up security systems and effective security enforcements. It is significantly beneficial to the country if we are in full accord with other countries' minimum safety and security requirements in public transport by adopting international standards and practices," emphasized Angara.

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