The Senate approved on final reading the bill creating the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that will focus on investigating air, highway, railroad, pipeline and maritime accidents.
Senate Bill No. 1077 was approved with 20 affirmative votes, no negative votes and no abstention.
Under the bill, 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.
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.
Senator Grace Poe, the bill’s main author, welcomed the bill’s passage in the Chamber, saying the NTSB “is long overdue” considering past transport mishaps that have claimed 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.
The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services pointed out that the creation of the NTSB would mean that all transportation accidents would be properly investigated.
Under SB 1077, the NTSB shall have “visitorial power” to enter the scene of the accident and thoroughly scrutinize any part of the motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or pipeline that may have caused the 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 (If there is proper investigation, I think there would be no cases of bus mishaps or ship sinking incidents that would just be dumped in the filing cabinet without any result or solution),” she said.
“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,” Poe said. (PNA)