MANILA, Philippines — The members of the Joint Chambers of the Philippines (JFC), along with the Safe Travel Alliance (STA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), are urging both houses of Congress to reconsider and approve the bill creating the Philippine Transportation Safety Board (PTSB) after the air traffic systems glitch that affected the country’s main gateway.

“The recent incident involving the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the alleged faulty air traffic management system has brought air transportation safety – and transportation safety, in general – in the spotlight,”the JFC said in a statement yesterday.

It emphasized that this was a strong reminder of the need to pass legislation creating the PTSB.

Patterned after best practices in other countries, the proposed board will serve as an independent and impartial transport safety body 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.

In a letter to the Senate public services and House transportation committees, the JFC expressed support for the creation of the PTSB.

The JFC stressed 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 JFC said.

In August, the JFC, STA and the IATA expressed disappointment over the veto by President Marcos of enrolled House Bill 9030/Senate Bill 1077 that would have created the PTSB.

The JFC explained earlier that the main objectives of the PTSB are to improve transportation safety measures to help prevent transportation accidents and mitigate dangers to human lives and property; and to upgrade transportation safety standards and create implementing rules to prevent accidents and incidents based on factual scientific findings of past accidents and/or incidents.

It explained that the bill creating the PTSB failed to progress in Congress for over two decades.

“Only in the 18th Congress did this important reform reach the most advanced stage in both chambers and the president’s desk,”the JFC said earlier.

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

The JFC, STA and IATA expressed optimism that the current Congress could refine the bill so that the reasons cited for the veto are addressed.

“Once enacted, the new PTSB can commence its programs to prevent major transportation accidents

that compromise the lives of the travelling public,”the JFC said.

The JFC is a coalition of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, Korean chambers and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Incorporated.

2023-01-30T16:43:04Z dg43tfdfdgfd