Rep. Harlin Neil Abayon III has put forward a proposal for the creation of what is to be called the National Land Transporation Safety Board.
In his proposal, Abayon stated that the NLTSB will be the one body to handle road safety regulation of all land vehicles, including public utility vehicles. Effectively, this will redefine the current roles of both the LTFRB and LTO. The NLTSB ought to have powers to regulate the roadworthiness of all land motor vehicles, cancel or suspend driver's licenses, investigate road accidents, and resolve administrative cases arising from road mishaps, according to Abayon of the AANGAT TAYO Party-list.
“The LTFRB system is badly broken. There are three positions there with immense powers over life and death of commuters, pedestrians, drivers, and transport operators”, he pointed out. “We have an LTO that cannot issue driver's licenses and motor vehicle plates on time and efficiently. The LTO also has very little enforcement presence on the roads”, Abayon added.
In response to such circumstances, the formation of the proposed Board will relegate the LTO to registration of vehicles and issuance of driver's licenses, while the LTFRB will still handle the issuance of franchises and the proper costs of taking public transportation. The HPG, on the other hand will handle the investigation of all road and vehicular accidents.
The National Land Transporation Safety Board's duties will then include being the quasi-judicial body who will hear the cases of any road mishaps. It will be the agency to determine the party at fault, who will have licenses revoked, or in administtrative cases, who will have their Permit to Operate revoked. The NLTSB will also be in charge of collecting data that involves road safety. It will also be responsible for the formulation of rules and standards that involve road safety, which everyone – from the automotive industry itsself, lay citizens, drivers, operators, motorcycle owners - will be expected to abide by.
Abayon also said that there may be a need for a permanent inter-agency committee or office chaired by the NLTSB that will collect, analyze, and frequently report to the public on road safety issues. Abayon said, “I am inclined to author and file a bill establishing this new office, incuding its data collection functions, but there shall be coordination with the NLTSB and clarification of specific roles, with the PNP most probably assisting the NLTSB”.
Statistics state that as of 2017, over 300 car crashes occur in Metro Manila daily. For whatever reason may be behind each incident, it all boils down to proper law enforcement, effective regulations, vehicle roadworthiness, and sufficient motorist knowledge in order to avoid them. In the Philippines, however, up-to-date statistics and proper analysis of such figures and surrounding circumstances have not been given much value. Unlike the United States which has the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to gather all this important information, the Philippines has no dedicated agency to do so.