No major shakeup at DOTC, says AbayaBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There will be no drastic reorganization in the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) initially in his term, according to the department’s newly appointed secretary, Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya.
Abaya said he would only be bringing in executive assistants, “someone [to] answer my phone,” when he takes over from Manuel Roxas, who has moved to the interior and local government department.
“I’m generally keeping [Roxas’] people… He has a very competent team,” Abaya told reporters.
With no immediate reorganization at the DOTC, stakeholders can be assured of stability and the continuity of projects despite a new secretary being appointed, he said.
According to Abaya, there is apprehension among industry stakeholders that whenever someone takes over a department, he or she would start from zero and the rules would be changed. He said this was a “very big deterrent” in the agency.
He said he would retain even the chiefs of the Land Transportation Office, and the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board.
“Until I get my feet wet, study the system, and find a reason to replace, I will keep everybody. It wouldn’t be logical if I reshuffle people without reason as soon as I take my seat. It is safest to retain them until I have justification [to replace them],” he said.
Abaya said he intends to carry out all of the projects being planned and funded in the DOTC.
As for major concerns such as getting the Philippines to regain its Category 1 status with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), this would entail institutional changes as it is “a wholistic problem,” he said.
The FAA downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 for failing to meet international aviation safety standards. This rating prevents the country’s airlines from increasing their flights to the US and its territories.
Abaya has yet to relinquish his seat in the House of Representatives and transfer fully to the DOTC. He said he has to first shepherd the 2013 budget bill in the House up to the third and final reading.
The budget is scheduled to be approved by October 15. The House plenary will begin tackling the budget next week.