• Sen. Grace Poe was enraged over the fatal bus crash in Mindoro that claimed the lives of 19 people
• A Dimple Star bus fell off a cliff after the driver lost control of the vehicle
• The list of accidents and its casualties continue to increase because vehicles that are not roadworthy are allowed to ply the roads
Senator Grace Poe expressed her sympathy to the families of the fatal bus crash victims in Occidental Mindoro and said she was enraged by the unnecessary loss of lives because such accidents could have been prevented.
On Tuesday night, March 20, a Dimple Star bus bound for Sampaloc, Manila was traversing a portion of the national highway in Barangay Batong Buhay, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro when its driver lost control of the bus.
The bus fell off a cliff, killing nineteen people including the driver. Twenty one others were injured.
“As we express our deepest sympathies to the family of the Mindoro bus crash victims, we are enraged with the loss of lives due to events that could have been prevented,” Sen. Poe said in a press release.
She said the list of tragic road accidents and their casualties continue to increase because vehicles that are not roadworthy are still being allowed to ply the roads. She also noted that the accident was not the first for Dimple Star bus.
“This recent incident reminded us once again about how public transportation in the country can be so dangerous,” she stressed.
Here’s the full text of Sen. Poe’s press release:
“As we express our deepest sympathies to the family of the Mindoro bus crash victims, we are enraged with the loss of lives due to events that could have been prevented.
In 2014, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that accidents, mostly vehicular, have claimed the lives of 43,853 Filipinos.
Sadly, the list of tragic road accidents and their casualties continue to increase because vehicles that are not roadworthy or even those we label as rolling coffins are still allowed to ply the roads with near impunity.
We gathered reports that there were previous accidents involving Dimple Star bus, which also resulted in fatalities.
This recent incident reminded us once again about how public transportation in the country can be so dangerous.
We have a pending bill at the Senate calling for the creation of a National Transportation Safety Board that would be solely responsible for looking into transportation-related recurring accidents and determining their causes. This will cover land, sea, air, including railways and pipeline systems.
To use a driving term, we need a dashboard of solutions to stop this bloody mess on our streets. This would range from a preventive and preemptive garage inspection of public vehicles, to strict driver’s licensing, to the use of devices like GPS and speed delimeters.
We should also see to it that the billions of pesos in car registration fees which is earmarked for road safety, such as railings and lights, end up in the streets installed, and not in private pockets.
The missing link in these accident prevention measures is the NTSB. There is a jumble of transport agencies, but there is no “go-to agency” that will be able to unravel and explain major transportation accidents.
There is a general pattern to be perceived in each of the accidents, and unless we fail to piece them together, they will occur.
This can be done by an NTSB which will be the transportation safety ombudsman who can raise the alarm on accidents waiting to happen.
Our condolences again to the family of the victims, and we hope the concerned agencies and the private operator of the bus company will attend to their needs immediately.”