Lawmakers urge creation of security agency to address possible terrorist attacks

A BILL is now pending at the lower house seeking the creation of the Philippine Transportation Security Authority (PTSA) in a bid to counter any threat or prevent any possible terrorist attacks on the country’s air, water and land transport systems.

Rep. Diosdado Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur), author of House Bill 6225 co-authored by Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd district, Pampanga) said the proposed Philippine Transportation Security Authority under the Department of Transportation and Communications will consolidate civil aviation, maritime, land and rail national security programs throughout the country to prevent lawless violence and terrorist attacks.

The Authority, which shall be headed by an administrator with the rank of undersecretary and appointed by the President, shall, among others, exercise control and supervision over all police and security agencies performing, pursuing or rendering transportation security services.

The bill if approved 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.

The authority, among others, shall formulate, promulgate and develop, in coordination with appropriate government agencies, comprehensive and flexible security plans, policies, measures and programs to ensure the safety and security of all means of transportation in the country.

Arroyo said “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.”

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