• Senate urged to investigate the tragic Skyway accident

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    Different government agencies involved in traffic management have a lot of explaining to do with regards to the implementation of policies involving public transport following the bus accident on the Skyway last week that killed at least 20 persons, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said.

    Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Works, wants the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA); the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) to explain the implementation of traffic and transportation regulations, especially with regards to common carriers.

    A Don Mariano Transit bus fell from the elevated freeway and crashed on a van below last December 16.

    “What is unfortunate is that this kind of senseless death could have been avoided by proper implementation of, or compliance with, basic traffic and transport safety rules,” Marcos said.

    He said the inquiry is timely not only because of the Skyway tragedy, but also because of a spate of similar vehicular accidents like the mishap in Maharlika Highway in Atimonan, Quezon, the Cebu marine disaster, and other minor accidents in our airports and runways.

    Marcos has filed Senate Resolution No. 334, seeking an inquiry into the enforcement of a 53-year-old rule and legislative policy embodied in the Civil Code (R.A. No. 386), which requires common carriers to observe extraordinary diligence in the carriage and transport of passengers and goods.

    Just last week Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito called on Malacanang to consider the creation of government superbody to address the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila.

    Ejercito said the government should take traffic congestion problem seriously considering the amount of money wasted due to road congestion as a result of the failure concerned government agencies to strictly implement traffic laws.

    “There should be a concerted effort of the different government agencies because I don’t think the MMDA can do it alone,” Ejercito said.

    Studies showed that road congestion in Metro Manila costs P140 billion a year in lost investments, reduced capital inflow and wastage.

    The direct losses are attributed to wasted gasoline, lost labor hours, employment of traffic aides and wasted electricity; the indirect losses refer to withdrawal of potential foreign investments, missed business opportunities and reduced capital inflow.

    “We really have to seek solution to the traffic problem in Metro Manila and for the benefit and safety of passengers as well as motorists,” Ejercito added.

    JEFF ANTIPORDA

     

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