Groups oppose retention of Duterte Cabinet officials
MANILA, Philippines — The National Public Transport Coalition objected to the possibility, raised by “trial balloons” in social media, that President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. would retain Duterte administration officials who have worsened, instead of eased, their burdens.
“If Marcos is serious in seeking unity, as he said during the campaign, he can start by appointing new faces in government, particularly in the transport sector,” said Modesto Floranda, national president of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston), which is part of the coalition.
“[Marcos] has said he wanted unity. If he really wants that, he should remove [incumbent Transportation Secretary Arthur] Tugade,” Floranda said at a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday.
He pointed out that their transport coalition has agreed with other groups to oppose the possible retention of Tugade and other officials, whom Floranda described as having added to the people’s burdens.
“The coalition had already agreed that no one [among the transport agencies] should be extended in their positions,” Floranda noted, referring to the Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
The LTFRB is currently headed by lawyer Martin Delgra III while LTO is headed by Edgar Galvante, a retired police general.
Floranda recalled that when they were appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte, these transport officials had no knowledge or experience in the transport sector and that resulted in added burdens.
“For us, these agencies should be led by people who have been involved with the transport sector, so that they already know the problems facing our sector,” Floranda said.
He stressed, as an example, that the LTFRB, for one, should be headed by a person who knows all about public transport and how they should resolve problems in the sector.
“It would be very difficult if you will head an agency involving a sector you’re not even part of,” Floranda said.
He also emphasized that the current set of transport agency heads do not know the overall problem of the transport sector and do not experience the hardships, like operators, drivers, and commuters.
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