Commuters’ group urges more transport officials to quit posts
A commuters’ group hailed Transportation Undersecretary for Rails Noel Kintanar’s decision to quit his post, but alleged that Kintanar was made a “sacrificial lamb” to pacify criticisms of conflict of interest hurled against other transport officials, including Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
Road Users Protection Advocates (Rupa) convener Ray Junia called on other transport officials, including Tugade, to “exercise self-respect” and give up their posts amid allegations of conflict of interest.
Junia said that while Kintanar’s resignation was a “wise move,” this did not remove suspicion that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) was beholden to the interests of big businesses rather than that of the public.
“We will continue to protect consumers from maneuvers of big businesses. We’ve supported President Duterte from the very start of the campaign on the hope of real change. We doubt real change will happen at DOTr under
the leadership of Tugade,” Junia said.
Tugade had described criticisms against the DOTr as “distractions” and said the policy of “build, build, build” would be pursued with the long-term goal of easing traffic in highly urbanized areas.
Before serving the DOTr in July, Kintanar was the executive vice president of a company that had ongoing transport contracts with the government.
Tugade had accepted Kintanar’s resignation which takes effect today.
“Kintanar said he would like to give Secretary Tugade a free hand in addressing any and all misconceptions or doubts as to the impartiality and independence of the DOTr in addressing the many issues and concerns on transportation,” the DOTr said in a statement.
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