Agency to prevent terror attacks on transport systems proposed-A A +A
Saturday, June 23, 2012
TWO legislators are proposing the creation of the Philippine Transportation Security Authority (PTSA) to counter any threat or prevent any possible terrorist attacks on the country’s air, water and land transport systems.
House Bill 6225, authored by former President-turned-Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and his son, Camarines Sur Representative Dato Arroyo, propose that the PTSA be created under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
The PTSA shall consolidate civil aviation, maritime, land and rail national security programs throughout the country to prevent lawless violence and terrorist attacks.
“Experiences of the international community show that terrorism could strike at the most unexpected places and at the most unexpected time,” the younger Arroyo said.
Arroyo cited the gruesome and unimaginable tragedy during the 9/11 terror attacks using commercial airlines that turned the majestic twin towers of the World Trade Center in the United States of America to rubble.
"The world had been witness to the spate of terrorist attacks inflicted upon transportation systems and facilities which resulted in the reckless loss of lives and enormous damage to public and private infrastructure and property," Arroyo said.
Arroyo also cited the sinking of the super ferry off the coast of Quezon province, the Rizal Day bombing of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the bombing of the Davao International Airport.
"These local and global incidence of terrorist attacks have brought to our attention the importance of formulating a comprehensive security program to protect our air, water and land transport systems, under a singular administrative authority armed with enough law enforcement powers to prevent, if not eradicate, security threats to precious human lives and property," he said.
The proposed government agency shall also exercise control and supervision over all police and security agencies performing, pursuing or rendering transportation security services.
The House measure also indicates that it shall be responsible for the security of all modes and means of public transportation systems in the Philippines including, but not limited to, the screening of passengers, baggage or cargo, hiring and retention of security screening personnel; training and testing of personnel in security screening, inspection, verification and audit. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)