Incoming Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista will meet with his outgoing counterpart, Secretary Art Tugade, this week.
“The DOTr Transition team is exerting all efforts to ensure a smooth, full, and transparent transition – one of cooperation, one of support, and one that is geared in making the new administration successful,” Tugade announced in his statement issued Sunday, June 26.
“I personally know my successor, Jimmy Bautista. We have long years of association and friendship,” he noted.
“His professionalism, experience, dedication, and hard work will certainly augur well in his being the Secretary of Transportation. In the best of my abilities and capabilities,” Tugade added.
Bautista, a Certified Public Accountant, was at the helm of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for 13 of his 26 years in the flagship carrier, prior to his 2019 retirement.
Overall, he spent 39 years serving various executive capacities in the business empire of tycoon Lucio Tan.
He remains on the board of the University of the East, which the tycoon acquired in 1990, and the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Medical Memorial Center.
Bautista was largely credited with stemming PAL’s financial hemorrhage, boosting the flag carrier’s rating to four stars and clinching a deal with Tokyo-based All Nippon Airways Holdings.
Right now, his honeymoon period with the private sector, has just begun and his colleagues in the industry, like the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), welcomed him warmly.
The association cited his extensive knowledge and experience in the aviation sector.
As DOTs Secretary, Bautista said he will elevate the transport sector to global standards.
However, he is taking over right in the midst of an industry in crisis, with public transport lacking capacity and skyrocketing fuel prices, the unsolved road traffic congestion in Metro Manila, the undecided fate of the public utility vehicle modernization program, as well as maritime issues.
As DOTr Secretary, Bautista has to oversee the rehabilitation of the country’s main international gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
He is likewise expected to continue the outgoing administration’s massive projects, including the Metro Manila Subway, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) North-South Commuter Railway and the Mindanao railway.