At DoTC, Abaya vows to pursue Roxas projects
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Incoming Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya has vowed to pursue projects initiated by his predecessor Mar Roxas to ensure that no further delays hound the administration’s infrastructure program.
Abaya, currently serving as representative for Cavite’s first district, will assume his new post as head of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) this October. Roxas, president of the ruling Liberal Party, will then move to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) following the death of Jesse M. Robredo.
“Roxas’ legacy is a tough act to follow,” Abaya said in a statement on Monday. He said his first priority would be “ensuring that that the Department’s projects are sustained for the country’s best interests.”
For his part, Roxas, in his last flag ceremony at the DoTC’s head offices in Mandaluyong, said Abaya would assume leadership of the department once Congress approves the government’s 2013 budget expected to happen in the next four to six weeks.
Abaya is chairman of the House appropriations committee.
On top of Abaya’s list of things to do is the completion of the interagency Passengers Bill of Rights for air travelers.
Likewise, the DoTC has published 16 invitations for bidders for various sea, land, and air infrastructure projects that need to be auctioned off before yearend.
Roxas said he had briefed Abaya on the policy direction the DoTC was taking, “as well as the major projects now on stream and in the pipeline.”
In his speech, Roxas said he was confident that Abaya would do an excellent job in sustaining and ensuring that all the infrastructure programs of the department would be implemented on schedule.
The Aquino administration has been criticized due to delays in the implementation of its big-ticket infrastructure projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
The delays were partly caused by the project reviews and reconfigurations done on Roxas’ orders as head of the DoTC, which handles the most expensive projects in the government’s pipeline.
Apart from the timely implementation of projects, Roxas said Abaya would also make it a priority to follow through on steps taken by the DoTC over the past 14 months of Roxas’ term in making travel safer in the country.
“It is that legacy that I am most proud of… I hope you (DoTC employees) keep up the good work with Abaya at the helm,” Roxas said.—Paolo G. Montecillo
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