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Transport undersecretary Kintanar resigns, 2 more execs urged to quit

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(Photo from Manila Bulletin)

 

MANDALUYONG CITY ― Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has accepted the resignation of Undersecretary for Railways and Tollways Noel Kintanar.

 

“Mr. Kintanar would like to give Sec. 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.

 

Kintanar’s resignation is effective on November 29, 2016.

 

Earlier, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has urged Sec. Tugade to fire Kintanar, undersecretary for air operations Bobby Lim and undersecretary for legal affairs Raoul Creencia for their dismal performance as well as conflict of interest while serving in the government.

 

Lim was country manager for International Air Transport Association and Creencia served as a government corporate counsel.

 

Alvarez warned that these officials with background in the private sector may use their positions to negotiate contracts with companies they were formerly employed with.

 

He also criticized Tugade for delaying the bidding of multi-billion peso priority projects for these to be included in the emergency powers measure pending in Congress.

 

Meanwhile, Assistant Sec. Cesar Chavez refused to confirm speculations that he will be assuming Kintanar’s position but stated that he was already appointed as permanent representative to the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Board.

 

Before being appointed as transportation undersecretary, Kintanar was executive vice president of Ayala Infrastructure. He was part of the Ayala Group’s investments into public private partnerships (PPP) with the government.

 

The Ayala group currently holds the contract for the Automated Fare Collection System. It also operates the Light Rail Transit Line 1 via the Light Rail Manila Consortium, which Ayala formed with Metro Pacific, DOTr, LRTA and Macquarie.

 

Transportation groups have called for his resignation due to issues over conflict of interest considering his involvement as a representative of Ayala in such projects.

 

The Speaker has accused the DOTr of delaying projects which could have been implemented immediately without need for emergency powers citing those for the supply of drivers’ licenses and the mass rail transit supplies and services.

 

Congress is currently deliberating the grant of special powers to the transportation secretary as traffic manager to solve the traffic crisis in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao. 

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