Bacolod Rep. Evelio “Bing” Leonardia Wednesday batted for an independent National Transportation Safety Board that will address deficiencies in the country’s transport system and investigate transportation mishaps and disasters.
Leonardia, senior vice chair of the Congressional Committee on Transportation, presided over the joint hearing with the Committee on Government Reorganization to discuss several bills seeking the creation of the NTSB. The CGR is chaired by Rep. Romeo Acop (Antipolo City, 2nd District), a press release from Leonardia’s office said.
During the meeting, Leonardia said that there is a need to create a non-regulatory agency to ensure thorough, impartial and speedy investigations of transport accidents and formulate a comprehensive and effective transportation safety standards and programs.
He cited the sinking of M/V Thomas Aquinas of Cebu and the overshooting of the Cebu Pacific plane in Davao this year as justifications for the creation of the NTSB. He also recalled that the world’s worst peacetime transport disaster was the sinking of M/V Dona Paz in 1987.
“What is happening now,” he added, “is that these accidents are being investigated by the very agencies that are supposed to regulate the industry.
The joint hearing also discussed three pending bills, authored by six congressmen calling for the creation of the NTSB.*