Press Release
August 6, 2019


Sen. Grace Poe said it is high time that the country creates its National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in a bid to make land, air and sea travels of Filipinos safer.

Poe made the call in the wake of the recent sea tragedy involving the capsizing of three motorized bancas off Iloilo-Guimaras Strait, which claimed at least two dozens lives.

"Nakikiramay tayo sa pamilya ng mga biktima. Hindi ito dapat sinasapit ng ating mga kababayan," she said, as she urged concerned agencies to help the families tide over the difficult times.

Poe said investigators should immediately determine where the liability lies in the incident.

"Unang-una, bakit pinayagan na maglayag kahit malaki ang alon at umuulan. Pangalawa, may report na nga na tumaob 'yung unang umalis na bangka, bakit pinaalis pa 'yung iba. Pangatlo, bakit may kwento ang ilang pasahero na wala silang life vest?" she said.

As early as 2016, Poe, a daughter of Iloilo, has expressed support for the proposed Iloilo-Guimaras Island Bridge to boost economic development in the Western Visayas region.

The planned 2.6-kilometer bridge would connect Iloilo to Guimaras, easing flow of goods and services. It will also boost tourism in the region, which is known for its white-sand beaches, the senator said.

Poe is set to file a resolution to know the status of the project.

In pushing anew her bill, Senate Bill No.125 or the proposed National Transportation Safety Board Act of 2019, Poe said the independent and non-regulatory body shall be mandated to investigate transportation-related accidents on land, sea and air including railway and pipeline systems. "Gusto natin na 'pag nagbibiyahe tayo, hindi nalalagay sa hukay 'yung isa nating paa. Dapat ligtas tayong makakarating sa ating pupuntahan," Poe, chairperson of the Committee on Public Services, said.

When in place, among the functions of the proposed NTSB include conducting safety inspections on land, sea and air transportation and appraising or assessing existing practices and policies regarding the transportation sector.

However, the NTSB will not merely be a reactive government body, limited only to investigating accidents. It can also undertake and publish studies on making transportation as safe and free from risk of injury as possible.

The Board will also perform a proactive function, looking into the causes and determinants of transport accidents and helping to prevent them.

It shall make periodic reports of proposals for corrective measures to make the transportation of persons as safe and free from the risk of injury as possible, including steps to minimize human injuries from transportation accident.

It shall initiate and conduct special studies and investigation on matters pertaining to safety in transportation and avoiding injury to persons and damage to property.

It shall also gather, analyze, maintain, and publish from time to time data and statistics on transportation accidents.

The bill proposes a P50-million fund for the Board from the budget.

News Latest News Feed