Bill creating Transportation Safety Board approved in Senate

Bill creating Transportation Safety Board approved in Senate

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday approved on final reading a bill creating the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The bill was approved with 20 affirmative votes, no negative votes, and no abstention.

Under Senate Bill No. 1077 or the National Transportation Safety Board Act, a board will be created tasked to probe air, highway, railroad, pipeline and maritime accidents.

A report on the probe shall be submitted to the Congress within 60 days from completion, with the report to be used to assess measures in place related to road safety.

Aside from conducting a probe and submitting a report, the NTSB is also tasked to conduct studies on making the transport sector as safe as possible, which would help craft laws to address road safety issues.

Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the Senate public services committee, said that the creation of the NTSB is “long overdue”, as she noted the transport mishaps that have taken many innocent lives.

“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,” Poe said in a statement.

Citing records from the Metro Manila Accident and Recording Analysis System of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Poe said 116,906 road accidents occurred in 2018, or an equivalent to 320 accidents every day or 13 accidents every hour.

In terms of economic damage, Poe said a road accident could cost up to P3.47 million in terms of damage to property and lost productivity, citing a 2005 study by the University of the Philippines.

Further, Poe 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.

“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,” the senator said.