Press Release
August 17, 2022

Poe: Sole body to probe transportation incidents needed

Staying the course in her push for safe journeys, Sen. Grace Poe has refiled her bill creating the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB).

"The desire for safety standards in our transportation system stands tall amid fatal road tragedies along the way," the chairperson of the Senate committee on public services said.

Poe stressed that institutional change is crucial to efficiently and expeditiously address transportation accidents and prevent them.

"Currently, our transport sector is governed by scattered hodgepodge of regulators, bureaus and agencies. Transport safety is part of their respective mandates, but it is neither their primary focus nor their core specialization," she said.

"We need a single dedicated agency which will not only investigate accidents but also look into predicting, reducing and averting them," Poe added.

Senate Bill No. 1121 or the proposed Philippine Transportation Safety Board Act aims to establish an agency in charge of investigating transportation-related accidents and incidents.

The board is tasked to delve deeply into the facts, conditions and circumstances involving aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad, pipeline, maritime, aerial and other serious incidents in the transportation of people and property.

The proposed body is empowered to conduct hearings, administer oaths, require attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of papers, contracts, agreements and other relevant documents deemed necessary in an investigation.

It is mandated to submit its findings to the Office of the President of which it is an attached agency, and make the said report public 60 days from the completion of its probe.

Poe pointed out that the PTSB will not be a mere reactive government body that is limited to investigating accidents.

It will conduct safety inspections on land, sea and air transport; assess existing policies; and undertake and publish studies on making transportation safe and injury-free as possible.

"In this sense, the board performs a proactive function, looking into the causes and determinants of transport accidents and helping prevent them. After all, prevention is always better than investigation," Poe said.

Over the weekend, at least 30 people were injured when a bus fell off a ravine in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Initial reports point to failed brakes as the cause.

"As we speak, road accidents happen taking or maiming lives. We must act faster before the next mishap could take place," Poe said.

Poe said the veto of the bill passed during the 18th Congress should not be the end of the road to the goal of giving Filipinos safe travel experience every day.

"The country needs a single body with a clearly defined mission to effectively institutionalize a higher level of transportation safety. We hope we can give this to our people," Poe said.

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