Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo proposes the creation of a transport security agency

The former Philippine President and now Pampanga representative Gloria Arroyo is pursuing a transportation security commission that will "perform functions geared towards deterrence, protection and response to terrorist attacks and other acts of unlawful interference".

According to Arroyo, terrorists are mainly targeting mass transportation similar to the airports and train stations. Because of this, she said that it is the time to focus on security in all modes of transportation in the country.

"An independent and single authority performing oversight function the transportation security becomes essential given the network characteristics of international and domestic travel and the consequent accountability challenges that exist in the transportation sector," she said in a statement.

Arroyo's House Bill 5092 also known as the Philippine Transportation Security Act of 2017, she proposed the establishment of the National Transportation Security Regulatory Commission o NTSRC in replace to the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) established under her term as the Philippine President.

The OTS was created during Arroyo's term under the Executive Order No. 277.

This Commission will be responsible in creating transportation security program, which will ensure that the international standards are followed to avoid conflicting mandate.

The NTSRC will also be given the oversight authority to Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippines Coast Guard (PCG), Land Transportation Office (LTO), LTFRB and also to public and private airports, seaports and land transportation operators.

She cited terrorism in airports and train stations in Europe and the Luneta hostage-taking in 2010.

"The system of accountability ensures that relevant government agencies, as well as industry players tasked to perform functions geared towards deterrence, protection and response to terrorist attacks and other acts of unlawful interference, are performing their functions effectively and efficiently, thereby the reducing the possibility and mitigating the consequences of terrorist attacks,” the former President pointed out," Arroyo said in a statement.

The NTRSC will be composed by a chairman and four members that will be appointed by the President himself with an fixed 7-year term and no re-appointment. The appointed officials must not be related or affiliated with any investor, stockholder, officer or director of any company engaged in the transportation industry to avoid conflict of interest.

"Just like the first world countries in America and Europe, as well as in Asia, the transportation industry in the Philippines is facing challenges in the area of transportation security which, if not systematically addressed, could potentially jeopardize the phenomenal and unprecedented growth the country has been experiencing in the recent years. Thus, defining and criminalizing acts of unlawful interference in transportation systems, and imposing stringent penalties and sanctions to such acts or to any violations of transportation security regulations becomes mandatory," Arroyo said.

Source: INQ