Bongbong Marcos names ex-PAL president as next DOTr chief

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 23) — Jaime Bautista, Philippine Airlines' former president and chief operating officer, has been named as transportation secretary of the incoming administration.

Executive Secretary-designate Vic Rodriguez confirmed Thursday that President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. will appoint Bautista as the head of the Department of Transportation.

Bautista, a Certified Public Accountant, worked at the flag carrier for 25 years and was its president for a combined 13 years before retiring for the second time in 2019.

He will be replacing Arthur Tugade, who has been serving the agency since 2016.

Other personalities that will be part of the DOTr include the following:

- Former LRTA Deputy Administrator Cesar Chavez as DOTr Undersecretary-designate for Rails

- Lawyer Cheloy Garafil as Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman-designate

- Christopher "Chet" Pastrana, Chairman of Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corp., as General Manager-designate of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)

In a previous briefing, Marcos stressed the crucial role of the transportation sector in the Philippines' economic recovery.

"Transport is going to be an essential part, not only for passengers, even more for cargo," Marcos said.

Speaking to CNN Philippines, George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Bautista's many years of experience in the airline industry, especially in running a logistics company, should ensure that he "will be able to grasp the intricacies of this job as Secretary of Transportation."

In other issues being faced by the sector, like rising fuel cost and the traffic along EDSA, Barcelon said it is important for the incoming Transport chief to reach out to his stakeholders.

The next government can also institutionalize incentivizing companies that transport heavy deliveries at night since this could lessen traffic at the main thoroughfare, he added.