Press Release
June 1, 2022

Senate ratifies bicam report on creation of PH transport safety board

The Senate on Wednesday, June 1, ratified the final version of the bill seeking to establish the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB).

Sen. Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, presented during Wednesday's plenary session the bicameral conference committee report which reconciled the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 1077 and House Bill No. 9030.

"If signed into law, this will be an important milestone for this Congress. Ngunit ang totoong magtatagumpay dito ay ang mga komyuter (But the true victors here are the commuters). And to this, I cannot thank enough both the Senate and House panels for prioritizing the overwhelming need of the many," said Poe, who led the Senate contingent in the bicam panel.

The PTSB shall be an independent investigatory agency and the primary government body to investigate and determine facts, conditions, circumstances and causes or threats of all significant transportation accidents or incidents.

Poe said that for every investigation, the Board would be required to report out both their factual findings in a Factual Accident Report, and their conclusions and recommendations in a Board Accident Report.

The contents of the Factual Accident Report shall be binding on all government agencies and shall be taken judicial notice by the courts. The Board Accident Report, on the other hand, shall not be admissible except in administrative cases.

Poe said the Senate and House conferees in the bicam agreed to give the PTSB a more pro-active role as a "standard-setting agency tasked with evaluating and developing evidence-based safety standards that are at par with international standards."

She said they also maintained a seven-member Board composed of a chairperson and representatives from the land, rail, air, and sea transportation sectors, with two representatives coming from the commuting public.

"Sinisiguro nito na bukod sa mga eksperto, ang mga komyuters ay mabibigyan din ng boses sa mga desisyong ukol sa pagpapaigting sa seguridad ng transportasyon sa ating bansa (This would ensure that aside from experts, commuters would also be given a voice in making decisions to strengthen transportation safety in our country)," Poe pointed out.

The final version of the bill likewise adopted a provision prohibiting members of the PTSB and employees from holding any other office or employment and engaging in profession or in the active management of a business which may be affected by their functions.

"PTSB has a crucial and life-saving mandate, and thus the integrity of its Board and employees should not in any way be jeopardized or compromised," Poe stressed.

Poe said the passage of the proposed PTSB Act is long overdue and timely. She said that from 2016 to 2020, 483 accidents have been recorded in the maritime sector, while the road sector reported a 12,487 yearly average death due to road crashes.

"Kailangan talaga ng ahensiyang mag-iimbestiga sa mga aksidenteng tulad nito at magsasagawa ng mga hakbang upang hindi na ito mangyari sa hinaharap (We really need an agency that would investigate such accidents and would come up with measures to prevent these from happening again)," Poe said.

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