Business, industry associations and advocacy groups have urged Congress to fast track the passage of the bill creating the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB), which has languished in Congress for over two decades.

Both houses of Congress are deliberating the reconciled version of the Bicameral Committee of Senate Bill 1077 and House Bill 9030, creating PTSB.

“Once ratified by both houses the bill can finally be endorsed for enactment by the president,” the groups said in a statement from a letter send to both the Senate and the Lower House on November 4, 2021.

The groups lamented that the PTSB bill has languished in Congress for over two decades. Only during the current 18th Congress has this bill reached the most advanced stage in both chambers and thus now has solid prospects for enactment.

The proposed law seeks the creation of a non-regulatory and independent agency attached to the Office of the President, to be the primary agency responsible for the conduct of impartial investigation on transportation-related accidents and incidents.

The main objectives of the Board are to improve transportation safety measures that will help in the prevention of transportation accidents and mitigation of dangers to human lives and property; and to ensure the implementation of transportation safety standards.

Presently, different agencies handle different sectors of transportation with regard to accident investigations. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has authority over aviation disasters. Sea mishaps are under the Maritime Industry Authority which forms inquiry boards to investigate major maritime disasters.

With respect to road accidents involving public utility vehicles, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has jurisdiction. Road accidents may also be investigated by the Philippine National Police, the Land Transportation Office, and by the Metro Manila Development Authority. Once enacted, the new PTSB can commence its programs to discourage the major transportation accidents causing the lives of too many Filipinos.

With the bicameral conference committee of both chambers having been convened, the associations and foreign chambers eagerly await the ratification of the reconciled version.

Signatories to the letters are: Air Carriers Association of the Philippines American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines International Air Transport Association Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Inc. Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc. and Safe Travel Alliance.

Source: Manila Bulletin (