'Status unacceptable': New DOTr chief targets land transport fixes

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2022 02:47 PM

 New Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista (left) attends the flag-raising ceremony at Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on July 4, 2022, together with new LTFRB chief Cheloy Garafil and outgoing chief Martin Delgra. Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News
New Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista (left) attends the flag-raising ceremony at Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on July 4, 2022, together with new LTFRB chief Cheloy Garafil and outgoing chief Martin Delgra. Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News


MANILA — New Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said Monday that he will be prioritizing land transportation issues under his watch, saying the current status quo is unacceptable to the President. 

Bautista joined the flag-raising ceremony and changing of guards at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Monday morning, his first as the chief of the Department of Transportation.

“7 o’clock kanina nakita ko ang napakahabang pila ng mga mananakay natin and I don't think the status quo is acceptable to the President," he said during the ceremony. 

Bautista, a former president of Philippine Airlines, said he pledged to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the DOTr will transform the Philippine transport industry and elevate it to global standards. 

"[PAL was] voted as most improved airline in the world in 2019. Iyan po ang aking inspirasyon at gagamitin ko po ang aking experience para mapaganda natin ang transport system hindi lang sa air, land, rail at sa sea po,” he said.

(That will serve as my inspiration, and I will use my experience to improve our air transport, as well as land, rail, and sea.)

Bautista said he visited the LTFRB first because he wanted to address land transportation woes "as fast as possible." Issues have hounded LTFRB over the past weeks as the transport sector struggled with the impact of high prices of petroleum products.

He also met with LTFRB officials to discuss programs started by the previous administration, deciding which programs to enhance and change.

Bautista also urged LTFRB employees to collaborate, noting that "unity will be the key to being effective."

He hopes to bring into the department his "distinct work ethic and style of management" by extolling their personnel to do their best to be professionals. 

Bautista also challenged new LTFRB Chairman Cheloy Garafil to focus on helping the riding public, saying that their ‘cries are getting louder by the day.”

"I’m a good listener, dati akong prosecutor,” Garafil said in her speech.

She also enumerated the orders of President Marcos to the regulatory body, which is to streamline the transaction process in the agency, make sure to provide assistance to the public utility drivers, and prioritize commuters’ welfare.

Road transportation is one of the industries that has been affected the most by soaring fuel prices. 

The agency recently approved a fare hike for jeepneys nationwide.

Marcos has also agreed to extend the EDSA Bus Carousel free ride until December 2022.

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