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Bautista heading DoTr

Marcos nominated lawyer Cheloy Garafil as chairperson of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board



President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday named veteran airline executive Jaime “Jimmy” Bautista as Transportation Secretary, along with other key nominees in his administration’s transportation cluster.

A certified public accountant, Bautista served in the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) for 25 years and was its president for 13 years before retiring for the second time in 2019.

Bautista rose through the ranks of PAL, eventually becoming vice president for finance from 1993 to 1994, chief financial officer from 1994 to 1999, EVP from 1999 to 2004; and president from 2004 to 2012, and from 2014 until 2019.

Marcos also named former Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) deputy administrator Cesar Chavez as Undersecretary-designate for Rails of the Department of Transportation (DoTr).

Chavez, whom President Rodrigo Duterte appointed to the same post in 2017, was said to have played a role in securing the National Economic and Development Authority Board’s approval for the Metro Manila Subway, Philippine National Railways Manila to Calamba, PNR Manila to Bicol, and the Tagum-Davao-Digos Mindanao rail projects.

Chavez is also credited for overseeing the interconnection of the LRT Line 1 in Monumento to MRT 3 in North EDSA.

Before working in the transport sector, Chavez was assistant general manager for planning of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, chairperson of the National Youth Commission, and youth sector representative in the 9th Congress.

Reservist at LTFRB

Marcos nominated lawyer Cheloy Garafil as chairperson of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. Garafil currently serves as the service director at the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives.

She was a prosecutor for the Department of Justice and state solicitor for the Office of the Solicitor General.

Garafil also holds a master’s degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College and is a Philippine Air Force reservist with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Rounding up Marcos’ nominees for his transport cluster is Christopher “Chet” Pastrana, who was nominated as general manager of the Philippine Ports Authority.

Pastrana is a businessman reportedly with decades of experience in the various aspects of aviation, logistics, and public maritime transport.

A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños in 1987, Pastrana is currently president and CEO of CAPP Industries, a supply and logistics conglomerate.

Pastrana is also the chairman of Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corp., which operates FasCat ferries.

Marcos also nominated two outgoing officials from the Duterte administration: Outgoing Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III and former Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

Nograles renominated

Marcos named Bello as chairperson and resident representative-designate of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office while he renominated Nograles as chairperson of the Civil Service Commission.

Appointed as chief of the Department of Labor and Employment by outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, Bello has also served as acting justice secretary and solicitor general.

Meanwhile, Nograles was among the Duterte ad-interim appointees who were bypassed for lack of quorum by the Commission on Appointments early this month.

A lawyer, Nograles was Davao City’s first district representative for eight years before Duterte appointed him to several posts in the Executive branch.

Nograles has also served as spokesperson of the national pandemic task force, acting presidential spokesperson, and chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger.

Senator Grace Poe welcomed the appointment of Bautista, saying he can “lead the sector battered by systemic challenges aggravated by the pandemic.”

“The mass transportation is woeful. Dozens of infrastructure projects remain unfinished. Millions of commuters and motorists face slow death on the road every day due to traffic,” Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services said.

“Incessant oil price hikes are crippling public utility vehicle drivers, vehicle owners, and ordinary citizens,” she added. “Our people are destitute for help. Much is expected from the new leadership in the department,” she said.

With Jom Garner @tribunephl_jom