After fatal Basilan vessel fire, Poe renews push for PH transport safety board
MANILA, Philippines — The ill-fated passenger ferry which caught fire in waters off Basilan, killing at least 26 people, has reignited the call of Senator Grace Poe for an independent transport safety board.
Poe, chair of the Senate public services panel, on Thursday pointed out that the tragedy, which also brought damages to the environment, came not too long after motor tanker Princes Empress capsized and caused a massive oil spill off the coast of Oriental Mindoro on Feb. 28.
“Clearly, the safety component in our transportation is sorely lacking. We reiterate our call for an independent agency that will conduct thorough and truthful investigations, and provide corresponding recommendations,” she said in a statement.
The agency, according to Poe, will help maintain the quality of Philippine air, land and sea transportation by preventing accidents.
Poe had earlier filed a bill pushing for the establishment of a Philippine Transportation Safety Board.
The passage of the proposed measure was also among the recommendations enclosed in the public services committee’s report on the New Year’s Day air traffic system shutdown, which has since been adopted and approved by the Senate.