2 senators back Senate probe of Tanay bus crash

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2017 03:26 PM

Motorists pass by the scene of the accident involving a tourist bus which resulted in the death of around 14 students in Tanay Rizal on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday said she will be filing a resolution calling for an investigation into a bus crash in Tanay, Rizal that claimed the lives of 15 people.

Monday’s crash, which killed 14 Quezon City students and the bus driver who were bound for a field trip, has once again highlighted the country’s faulty regulation of driver licenses and public transportation franchises.

Poe, who has made transportation and commuter safety her advocacy, said the Senate probe seeks to address these issues.

"Yes, actually in granting permits for drivers of commercial buses, for example, yung mga ganyan at saka iyun ngang mga safety features na mga pinapayagan natin na mga buses," Poe said.

She said she will look into the safety issues on buses, which have been on the road for at least 10 years.

"Alam mo hindi lamang sa mga field trips, yung ating mga bus na nandiyan. Pinapayagan ang mga bus na 15 years old or below. Tanungin natin, ano ba yung mga safety features na mayroon ngayon na wala yung mga buses na 14 years old o 10 years old,” she said.

“Kailangan yung mga experience din ng mga drivers. Hindi sapat na may lisensya lang, kung tatlong buwan pa lang nagmamaneho ang isang drayber. Kargo de konsensya ng lahat yung buhay ng mga batang iyan," Poe said.

The crash has also put the spotlight on compulsory field trips, as several school-sponsored trips in the past led to fatal endings.

Poe said, she understands the concerns of parents who are wary about field trips organized by schools.

"Ako talaga tuwing may lakad ang mga bata, lalo na pag field trip at malayo, minsan talaga ang puso mo nasa lalamunan mo eh. Hindi mo rin alam kung papayagan mo yung anak mo sa malalayong lugar," Poe said. 

Senator Bam Aquino is also calling for a probe as he wants to introduce reforms that will make outdoor school activities safer.

He, however, said the inquiry will not be conducted to put blame on anybody.

Aquino also said he is against the issuance of waivers for field trips.

"Nagsabi na rin ang Commission on Higher Education na ang mga waiver na yan ay balewala," Aquino said.