Shippers, transport groups: Keep Bautista as DOTr chief

Some of the country’s largest shipping operators are urging President Marcos to retain Jaime Bautista in his post as transportation secretary amid allegations of corruption.

In a statement, the shipping groups said Marcos should keep Bautista at the helm of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to sustain efforts in reforming the transport sector.

“President Marcos needs a man of his stature, (and) Secretary Bautista is one of the rare breed of government officials who possesses the qualities required to move our small archipelagic nation forward,” the statement read.

Signatories include the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations, Association of Container Yard Operators of the Philippines, Association of International Shipping Lines Inc. and the Philippine Liner Shipping Association.

The Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association Inc., Philippine Ships’ Agents Association, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, United Port Users Confederation of the Philippines and the Philippine Coastwise Shipping Association Inc. (PCSA) also joined the call for Bautista’s return.

The PCSA recalled that Jefferson Tumbado, head executive assistant of suspended Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Teofilo Guadiz III, recanted his corruption allegations against Bautista.

Tumbado claimed on Oct. 9 that DOTr and LTFRB officials required public utility vehicle operators to pay as much as P5 million to secure permits.

Marcos had suspended Guadiz pending the result of an ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile, three business groups expressed support for Bautista.

In a letter addressed to Marcos dated Oct. 18, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Employers Confederation of the Philippines and the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. said Bautista’s appointment as DOTr secretary was one of the most credible appointments that Marcos made.

“We call for the speedy resolution of what we consider as another ‘demolition’ job to stop the secretary from pursuing the needed reforms in the transportation sector that is very critical in and for our supply and value chain. We owe this to the Secretary who could have just enjoyed his retirement, but has stepped up in this capacity as his selfless contribution to nation building and public service,” the groups said.

Last week, Bautista filed cyber libel charges against transport group Manibela chairman Mar Valbuena and broadcaster Ira Panganiban over allegations of accepting bribes.

Bautista earlier denied his involvement in any form of corruption.

Source: Shippers, transport groups: Keep Bautista as DOTr chief (

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