The bill authored by Senator Grace Poe creating the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was approved on third and final reading at the Senate.
“The NTSB is long overdue considering the transportation mishaps that have happened in the past that claimed innocent lives,” Poe said.
“With thorough, timely and substantial investigation, we will be able to prevent those accidents from happening again and give justice to the victims and their families,” the veteran legislator stressed.
The seasoned lawmaker, chairperson of the public services committee, said Senate Bill No. 1077 or the proposed National Transportation Safety Board Act will create a board that will focus on investigating air, highway, railroad, pipeline and maritime accidents.
The report of the body’s investigation will be submitted to Congress within 60 days from completion and will be used to appraise and assess existing practices and regulations related to safety measures.
“Ang NTSB ay mayroong visitorial power para makapasok sa lugar ng mga aksidente at masiyasat ng husto ang anumang parte ng motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, o pipeline na naging sanhi ng accident. Kapag maayos ang imbestigasyon, palagay ko wala ng kaso ng nahulog na bus o lumubog na barko ang itatambak na lang sa filing cabinet na wala man lang resulta o solusyon,” the lady senator said.
She cited records from the Metro Manila Accident and Recording Analysis System of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority which showed 116,906 road accidents in 2018, or an equivalent to 320 accidents every day or 13 accidents every hour.
“All transportation accidents carry hefty price tags.”
Poe said all transportation accidents carry hefty price tags, citing a 2005 study by the University of the Philippines that a road accident could cost up to P3.47 million in terms of damage to property and lost productivity.
She said the 2018 World Health Organization Global Status Report on Road Safety revealed that road traffic injuries cost the Philippines about 2.6 percent of the entire gross domestic product.
“Hindi puwedeng tapatan ng presyo ang mga buhay na nawala,” Poe said.
The NTSB will also proactively conduct studies on making the transport sector as safe as possible by looking into the causes and determinants of accidents, among others, to guide the government in crafting policies and regulations which will prevent them from recurring.
“The NTSB can save lives that should not be lost in the first place.”
“The NTSB can save lives that should not be lost in the first place. It can avoid preventable accidents. It can avert injuries. It can keep properties intact. The NTSB is our road to safety,” she stressed.
Poe thanked her fellow senators for giving their nod to the bill.