National Transportation Safety Board bill filed in congress

In the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent government agency that is responsible for the investigation of accidents in aviation, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine accidents, pipeline (energy), bridge failures, and railroad accidents.

We don’t have such an agency here in the Philippines. But four congressmen have proposed a law to create such an agency which will be under the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

PH’ own traffic safety board pushed in congress image

House Bill (HB) 1801 or the National Transportation Safety Advisory Council Act calls for the creation of our own version of NTSB. Inspired by its US counterpart, the Philippines’ NTSB will likewise be in charge of investigating and reporting accidents in aviation, highway and motor vehicles, pipeline, railroad and tracked vehicles, marine transport carriers, as well as investigate and report on the safe transportation of hazardous and toxic materials.

If HB 1801 will become a law, the country’s version of NTSB will be headed by a chairman who will be equivalent to an Undersecretary. To fulfill its duties, the NTSB may tap the assistance of other relevant government agencies like the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other agencies if needed.

NTSB will not be the exclusive transportation investigative agency

Section 9 of HB 1801 specifies that “nothing in this Act shall deprive other government agencies of performing their initial functions, including the investigation of accidents or making inquiries thereon when those functions exist prior to the effectivity of this act.”

In other words, the PNP, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), PCG, and the like, may still do their own transportation investigation and inquiries related to their field.

You can read the full text of HB 1801 here, which was introduced by congressmen LRay Villafuerte, Jr., Tsuyoshi Horibata, Miguel Luis Villafuerte, and Nicolas Enciso VIII.