Poe files new Transportation Safety Board bill: ‘Veto shouldn’t be the end of the road’

Senator Grace Poe. Photo of Senator Poe’s office

MANILA, Philippines – The veto of a bill establishing a Transportation Safety Board “should not be the end of the road to the goal of giving Filipinos [a] safe travel experience every day.”

With this in mind, Senator Grace Poe reintroduced Senate Bill 1121 or the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB) Bill, which seeks to create an agency to investigate transportation accidents and incidents.

She tabled the same measure in the 18th Congress, but President Ferdinand Marcos Jr vetoed it.

READ: Bongbong Marcos vetoes transport safety board and tax-exempt poll worker fee bills

“The desire for safety standards in our transportation system is significant amid the deadly road tragedies along the way,” the chairman of the Senate Public Utilities Committee said in a statement.

“As we speak, road accidents are happening, taking or maiming lives. Therefore, we need to act faster before the next accident happens,” Poe said.

READ: 3 dead, 3 injured in road accidents in Batangas

Institutional change, she stressed, “is crucial to effectively and quickly deal with transport accidents and prevent them”.

“Currently, our transport sector is governed by a scattered hodgepodge of regulators, offices and agencies. Transportation security is part of their respective mandates, but it is neither their primary focus nor their core specialization,” Poe said.

“The country needs a single body with a clearly defined mission to effectively institutionalize a higher level of transportation security. We hope we can give that to our people,” she said.

Under its bill, the PTSB is responsible for investigating facts, conditions and circumstances involving aircraft, motor vehicles, railways, pipelines, shipping, air transport and other incidents. serious in the transport of people and goods.

The PTSB’s findings will be submitted to the Office of the President, an attached agency, and the report will be made public 60 days after its investigation is complete.

Poe also stressed that the safety committee will not be just a reactive government body limited to accident investigations.

She said he would also carry out safety inspections on land, sea and air transport; assess existing policies and undertake and publish studies aimed at making transport as safe and injury-free as possible.

“In this sense, the council exercises a proactive function, examining the causes and determinants of transport accidents and contributing to their prevention. After all, prevention is always better than investigation,” Poe said.

In vetoing the bill, Marcos Jr. argued that different agencies were already assuming the functions of the proposed security council under the direction of the Department of Transportation, the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation.

“The creation of a new body will only create functional duplication, confusion over authority, inefficiency and deficiency in the exercise of responsibilities,” he said.

KGA/abc

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