Press Release
September 3, 2015


Senator Grace Poe called for the creation of a National Transportation Safety Board that will investigate accidents and make recommendations to improve the country's transportation system, whether on land, air or sea.

Senate Bill 2886 or the proposed National Transportation Safety Board Act of 2014 aims to pay sufficient attention to the nation's transportation problems by creating a dedicated panel that will also oversee and coordinate efforts between the various agencies involved in transportation management. Currently, the PNP, DOJ, DOTC, Department of National Defense (DND), and DPWH all have transport-related functions.

Speaking before the First National Commuters Forum sponsored by Ligtas Patrol, the National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection, Inclusive Mobility Network and the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies, Poe cited the daily difficulty experienced by the commuting public due to heavy traffic, poor facilities and lack of safety standards for commuters and motorists.

"I personally experienced what it is like to ride the MRT, and I saw what our commuters have to endure everyday - long queues, insufficient trains, broken elevators and escalators, non-functioning air conditioners, and risk of accidents due to old trains and rails," Poe said.

Poe said heavy city traffic significantly affects economic productivity. Estimated road traffic cost to the economy is at P2.4 billion pesos daily. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) forecasts that this figure could go up to P6 billion daily by 2030.

Poe, the chairman of the sub-committee on public services, also noted the increasing number of road accidents in Metro Manila. "We need to carefully study the context of our road safety problems by looking into the overall transportation system of the country," Poe added.

According to the PNP Highway Patrol Group, there was a 20% increase in road accidents in 2014 compared to 2013. The MMDA has reported an average of 250 accidents a day in 2014, involving mostly trucks, buses and motorcycles.

Poe also noted that, in addition to accidents, transportation-related crimes are also increasing. She called for a centralized emergency response system that will ensure consistent and high quality of emergency response services throughout the country.

"Through a centralized emergency response system, we can ensure adequate capability, equipment and resources to effectively respond to accidents," Poe said. The senator said there can be no shortcut to solving the transportation problems of the country. She underlined the significant contribution the private sector can make, in cooperation with government, to achieve safe and efficient transportation for all.

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