Speaker warns OTS chief: Resign before budget hearing or I’ll block it myself
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has issued an ultimatum to Office of Transport Security (OTS) Administrator Ma.O Aplasca to resign before the House of Representatives tackles the agency’s proposed budget or he will personally block it.
Romuladez said this on Monday, two days before the House hears the Department of Transportation (DOTr) budget.
OTS is an attached agency of the DOTr.
“I am advising the OTS chief: submit your courtesy resignation before the House of Representatives tackle the budget of your office,” Romualdez said.
“Mag-resign ka na. Kung hindi ka magsa-submit ng resignation, ako mismo ang magba-block ng approval ng budget ng OTS,” he said.
(You should resign. If you would not submit your resignation, I myself would block the approval of OTS’ budget.)
Romualdez said his frustrations over Aplasca stemmed after reports that a female OTS staffer stole money from a departing tourist at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1.Aplasca, the Speaker said, should submit his courtesy resignation under the principle of command responsibility to ensure a proper revamp.
“Naka-strike three na ang OTS chief (The OTS has had his third strike). We are already fed up with these reports of stealing and other acts of wrongdoing at the airport, for which OTS officials and their DOTr supervisors are ultimately responsible. A top-to-bottom overhaul is needed,” he said.
“We cannot let these atrocious activities and other acts of misconduct at the airport to continue to take place. It’s bad for the country and the economy,” he said.
Romualdez claimed that he had already called for a revamp when money was stolen from a Thai tourist last March. However, the House leader said it appears the calls were not acted upon — prompting him to ask Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to look after his own backyard.
“What have happened to those commitments? Where are the reforms?” Speaker Romualdez asked.
“Every now and then, we hear of nefarious activities, aviation glitches, power equipment malfunctions and disruptions, and similar nasty things taking place at the airport. There may be people sabotaging him,” he said.
According to Romualdez, it is bad that a tourist would get this kind of treatment, as it would reflect on the whole country.
“An ugly incident will certainly leave a discouraging and lasting impression. This is the reason why we should deploy the finest personnel at ports of entry,” he added.