SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
A lawmaker is proposing the creation of a national governing body that will specifically address the issue of safety of motor vehicles.
Rep. Mark A. Villar (Lone District, Las Piñas City) said the establishment of the National Motor Vehicle Safety Administration, as proposed in House Bill 6310 will mitigate motor vehicle accidents, which have stealthily increased through the past years.
Villar said the leading causes of these accidents are drunk-driving, over speeding, lack of discipline, mechanical defects, poor maintenance, and use of cell phones.
He said based on the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Highway Patrol group (HPG) Report, First Half of 2015, there were already around 11,000 road accidents and around 5,000 injuries and around 500 deaths caused by traffic accidents.
Just recently, Villar said it has been discovered there are multiple instances of accidents that are allegedly caused by defects in the automobiles themselves.
"It has come to the point that these defects cannot be ignored anymore. Fear has crept into the hearts of those who own these alleged defective automobiles as danger can surprisingly leap towards them at any given point," he said.
Villar, chairman of the House Committee on Trade and Industry, said it has been found out through investigation that there is a lack of teeth in the current laws in addressing the problem.
"There should be a system of transparency wherein automotive companies can be held liable for hiding safety defects, failing to recall defective vehicles, and making false reports," Villar said.
Under the bill, the National Motor Vehicle Safety Administration or NMVSA, which shall be attached to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), shall be composed of seven full-time members.
"These seven full-time members include the Director-General to be appointed by the President and shall serve as the Chairman and have the rank of Assistant Secretary," Villar said.
The six other members, preferably one representative from the DOTC, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine National Police as well as two other members from the private sector shall all be appointed by the President.
The measure calls for the appointment of the Executive Director of the NMVSA by the Chairman to record and officially report on the proceedings of the NMVSA; to run the day-today operations of the NMVSA and to act as the custodian of the records, maps, profiles, reports, and other documents and papers filed in connection with any proceedings before the NMVSA.
Likewise, the Executive Director shall be responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of the policies, rules and directives promulgated by the NMVSA and shall coordinate and supervise the activities of the different operating units of the NMVSA and shall perform such other functions as may be assigned to him by the Chairman and/or the Members.
As a national governing body, the NMVSA shall prescribe motor vehicle safety standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, which will serve as preventive measures.
It shall also the duty of the NMVSA to carry out needed safety research and development and to investigate causes of highway, road, and street accidents, especially those that in the judgment of the NMVSA, are catastrophic and/or recurring.
The bill grants the NMVSA jurisdiction to investigate motor vehicle safety-related defects and those cases, which in the NMVSA's judgment, suggest a potential safety defect involving groups of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment.
The bill carries several provisions such as on the conduct of investigation by the NMVSA as well as enumerates the powers of the NMVSA, among others.
The bill has been referred to the Committee on Transportation chaired by Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes).