Industry groups, foreign chambers push for bill on transportation safety board

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INDUSTRY GROUPS called on lawmakers to fast-track the approval of a bill that would create the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB), which would be responsible for the impartial investigation of transport-related accidents and incidents.

“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 groups said in a joint statement issued Wednesday.

The PTSB proposal, contained in House Bill 9030 and Senate Bill 1077, is pending at bicameral conference.

The measure aims to improve transportation safety measures and ensure implementation of these standards through the new agency.

The groups said the creation of the PTSB, which will be the sole authority with regards the investigations for all sectors, will help prevent and address major transport accidents that cost lives.

Samar Rep. Edgar Mary S. Sarmiento, chair of the House Committee on Transportation and one of the members of the bill’s bicameral conference, said the committee has yet to schedule a meeting on the bill as the Senate is still busy with the 2022 budget.

“But, as chair of the House Transportation Committee, I am pushing for the expeditious passage of this measure. The creation of the PTSB should provide us with a permanent and highly specialized body that would ensure transportation safety and investigate all sorts of transportation-related accidents such as the deadly C-130 accident in Sulu,” he said in a Viber message.

The statement was supported by Philippine-based foreign business chambers, including the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, and Korean.

Other groups that backed the statement are the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines, International Air Transport Association, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc., and the Safe Travel Alliance. — Russell Louis C. Ku