House transport panel outlines priority bills for current legislative session

The House committee on transportation has laid down its legislative priorities for the second regular session of the 17th Congress.

Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, chair of the House transportation panel, bared the legislative track of the committee during his “State of the Committee Address” on Wednesday.

Sarmiento said the panel will push for the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Amendment Law which will separate the operator and regulatory functions of the agency.

Sarmiento said a Philippine Airport Development Corporation Bill will be filed within the week which will provide institutional reform for a unified aerodrome policy.

This is one of the priority measures of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Other priority measures of the Speaker that are also aligned with that of the committee’s include the Merging of Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) into the land Transportation Authority and the establishment of the Philippine Railways Authority.

Sarmiento said the panel will also focus on the “much delayed important legislation” which seeks the establishment of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Furthermore, the committee will undertake other priority bills such as the Sustainable Transportation Act, Harbor Pilotage Act, and the Investigation of Third Party Liability Insurance, the lawmaker noted.

Sarmiento called on the House leadership to strengthen the committee by providing a special budget for hiring railway, aviation, and maritime engineers and consultants to validate all the reports from the agencies. (Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA)