BUSINESS GROUPS called corruption allegations against Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista a “demolition job” designed to obstruct reforms in the industry.
In a letter addressed to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., three organizations led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry declared their full support and confidence in Mr. Bautista.
“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 (are) very critical in and for our supply and value chain,” the business groups said.
“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,” they added.
Mr. Bautista filed a cyber-libel complaint against the chairman of a transport group and a journalist over reports that linked him to corruption.
On Oct. 16, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said Mr. Bautista filed a complaint against Mar S. Valbuena, chairman of the Malayang Alyansa ng Bus Employees at Laborers, and journalist Ira Panganiban.
The business groups said that Mr. Bautista’s appointment was one of the most credible appointments to the cabinet.
“He has steered the modernization and other reforms in the Department to enable it to respond to domestic stakeholder needs and global developments,” they said.
They cited the need for a quick resolution because the economy is at a “crucial juncture” as the effects of the pandemic ease while geopolitical tensions ratchet up, changing trade and investment patterns.
“These factors will continue to challenge the health of the country’s trade and investment and therefore the speed of the economic recovery,” the business groups said.
The statement was also signed by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. — Justine Irish D. Tabile