By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The bill seeking the creation of a government agency that would look into transportation-related incidents is expected to hurdle the Senate next week.
Senate Bill No. 1077, which proposes the establishment of the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB), is scheduled for approval on third and final reading when the Upper Chamber resumes sessions on Monday, December 9.
If signed into law, the measure, which was passed on second reading last November 27, would create and mandate the NTSB to conduct independent investigations on transportation incidents, including air, highway, railroad, pipeline and maritime accidents.
Its proposed powers include inspections in the scene of the incident, and examinations or testing of any motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft involved in an accident.
It could also conduct hearings and summon witnesses and relevant documents as part its investigation.
The proposed safety board would also be required submit to Congress a report within 60 days after it has completed its investigation. The findings shall be used as a basis in reviewing existing laws and regulations on safety.
Aside from investigation, it would also be mandated to initiate studies on matters related to transportation safety.
The proposed NSTB shall have seven members led by a chairperson, who will have a term of five years and a rank of department secretary. It shall operate under the Office of the President.
SB 1077 was a consolidation of the bills filed by Senators Grace Poe, Juan Edgardo Angara, and Ramon Revilla Jr.
Poe, Senate public services committee head and sponsor of the bill, earlier said the creation of the NTSB will help prevent transportation-related accidents.