De Lima calls for Senate probe on road accidents due to gov’t neglect

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Sen. Leila M. de Lima has sought a Senate inquiry into the government’s apparent neglect to inspect the roadworthiness of aging vehicles involved in recent tragic accidents that led to the death and injuries of several motorists and by-standers. De Lima filed Proposed Senate Resolution 314 calling for a legislative inquiry to find out how concerned government agencies have miserably failed to administer a “regular, systematic and credible” inspection of all land-based vehicles for road-safety.

“Major road accidents emanating from negligence in inspections have been a perennial problem in our society, taking hundreds of innocent Filipino lives in the process,” she said.

De Lima, a former justice secretary, cited three road accidents involving public vehicles, to wit:

  • A tour bus carrying students from Bestlink College, Novaliches rammed into an electric post and some trees along a curved road in Brgy. Sampaloc, Tanay – claiming the lives of 14 students and their driver, last Feb 20. Upon the investigation of the LTFRB, it has been found that the bus was manufactured in 1988 and not in 2004, contrary to what was stated in the unit’s documents;
  • A GV Florida passenger bus plunged into a ravine in Bontoc, Mt. Province, killing 14 people and injuring 32 others sometime in February 2014. The accident was reportedly caused by a faulty emergency brake and the absence of an exhaust brake;
  • A truck suffering from mechanical failure hit a Superlines bus which caused the bus to lose control and therefore caused an eight-vehicle collision on a remote highway in Atimonan, Quezon province, in October 2013. The accident caused the death of 20 people and injury of 54 others.

“These tragedies could have been abated by implementing stricter inspection procedures and enforcing penalties to erring licensing authorities,” she pointed out.

The Senator from Bicol put to task the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to impose stricter inspection procedures and enforcing penalties to erring licensing officials.

“Mechanical failure is found to be one of the leading causes of road accidents in the Philippines, second to driver error,” she said.

“Before granting franchise or license to operate, it should be imperative to verify the suitability and viability of public transportation businesses to conduct frequent repairs and maintenance of their units,” she added.

The proposed Senate measure hopes to enact reforms in the vehicle inspection and registration procedures to be “passed in order to ensure that officials are administering regular, systematic and credible check-ups on all vehicles to warrant road-safety.”

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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