FORMER President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has proposed the creation of a Transportation Security Commission to draft measures that would protect the riding public against untoward incidents like terror attacks.
Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, made the proposal under House Bill 5092 or the Philippine Transportation Security Act of 2017 which would transform the Office of the Transportation Security (OTS) under the Department of Transportation to the National Transportation Security Regulatory Commission—a body that will be mandated to draft a transportation security program ensuring that the country’s international obligations on transportation are met and are harmonized with existing regulatory policies.
Likewise, the commission is in charge of ensuring that all responsibilities of the concerned government agencies on transportation are properly delineated to avoid conflict and establish accountability.
“An independent and single authority performing oversight function the transportation security is essential, given the network characteristics of international and domestic travel and the consequent accountability challenges that exist in the transportation sector,” Arroyo said in a statement.
“Recent terror attacks in airports and in mass train stations in Europe, as well as our own hostage crisis in Luneta in 2010, have shown the vulnerabilities of the transportation systems worldwide,” Arroyo added.
Congresswoman Arroyo was referring to the Manila hostage taking incident in August 2010 wherein a distraught former police officer, Rolando Mendoza, held hostage a tourist bus at the Luneta Park, resulting in a standoff with the police that left at least eight people dead and scores injured.