JFC presses passage of PH transport safety board bill

After the air traffic system glitch at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) joined by the Safe Travel Alliance (STA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the House and Senate to reconsider the bill creating the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB) and approve the same in the 19th Congress.

In a statement, the JFC noted that the recent incident involving the NAIA and the alleged faulty air traffic management system has brought air transportation safety and transportation safety, was a strong reminder of the need to pass legislation creating the PTSB.

The legislation was approved in both Houses in the previous Congress but was vetoed during the early days of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s presidency.

The seven chamber members of the JFC said they have expressed support to the Senate Public Services and House Transportation Committees, for the creation of the PTSB amid ongoing congressional hearings on the NAIA incident.

The statement noted that all investigations on transportation accidents are undertaken by the government agencies that have regulatory powers over the respective sector of the transportation industry. “Because most of these agencies are also tasked to regulate and/or operate the sector, there is an inherent conflict of interest in the performance of their duties as investigating bodies,” the statement said.

The bills seek to create the PTSB, an independent and impartial transport safety body patterned after best practices in other countries that will address regulatory gaps in the transport safety bureaucracy, facilitate the enhancement of transportation safety measures and standards, and coordinate all the actions of relevant public and private entities toward the common goal of ensuring transport safety.

The stakeholders expressed optimism that the current Congress can refine the bill so that the reasons cited for the veto can be addressed.

Once enacted, the new PTSB can commence its programs to prevent major transportation accidents which compromise the lives of the travelling public.

The statement was approved by the 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.