Following the recent outage that caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights to and from Manila, the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) — an umbrella group of foreign businesses in the Philippines — on Monday called for the creation of a transportation safety board.

In a statement, the JFC said it joined other groups, such as the Safe Travel Alliance (STA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in calling on lawmakers to pass the bill creating the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB).

“Currently, all investigations on transportation accidents are undertaken by the government agencies that have regulatory powers over the respective sector of the transportation industry,” the statement read.

“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 bill was passed by the previous Congress but was vetoed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as Malacañang said the functions were already being undertaken by different agencies.

The groups, however, were optimistic that the current Congress could refine the bill and address the reasons cited in the veto.

“Once enacted, the new PTSB can commence its programs to prevent major transportation accidents which compromise the lives of the traveling public,” the JFC said.

The statement was approved by all members of the JFC, including the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines Inc., the Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc.

The JFC cited the recent outage in Manila for the need to pass the legislation creating the PTSB, as at least 282 flights were canceled, diverted, or delayed on New Year’s day after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) recorded a technical issue in its Air Traffic Management Center (AMTC).

The day following the incident, the CAAP said its Aerodrome and Air Navigation Safety Oversight Office (AANSOO) was tasked to investigate the matter.

The AANSOO is an existing office of the CAAP, made up of technical personnel from the CAAP itself, including aerodrome engineers, electrical and communication engineers, air traffic controllers, pilots, and a lawyer. — DVM, GMA Integrated News

This article Foreign businesses urge creation of Philippine Transportation Safety Board was originally published in GMA News Online.

2023-01-30T12:04:37Z dg43tfdfdgfd