New LTFRB officer-in-charge appointed amid corruption allegations vs Guadiz
October 10, 2023 | 6:36pm
MANILA, Philippines — Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista appointed a new officer-in-charge for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The decision came after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. suspended LTFRB chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III from his post following allegations of corruption in connection to the PUV modernization program.
“In the exigency and best interest of the service, Atty. Mercy Paras Leynes, Board Member of the LTFRB is hereby designated as Officer-in-Charge-Chairperson of the LTFRB from 10 October 2023 to 09 October 2024,” according to special order 2023-353 signed by Bautista on Tuesday.
“As such, she [Leynes] shall perform and discharge all the functions and responsibility of the office, unless otherwise earlier amended or superseded.”
Itinalaga si Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board #LTFRB board member Atty. Mercy Paras Leynes bilang officer-in-charge-chairperson ng ahensya epektibo simula ngayong Martes, October 10. pic.twitter.com/pUxVfR0q6S
— News5 (@News5PH) October 10, 2023
‘Corruption connected to PUV modernization’
The suspension of Guadiz came after a former LTFRB official last Monday bared alleged irregularities in the agency, with at least P5 million being paid “in exchange for the approval of franchise or securing routes and special permits.”
“In light of the alleged corruption in the LTFRB, we call on the Department of Transportation to suspend the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) until all issues hounding it are resolved,” said Sen. Grace Poe in a statement Tuesday.
“We want to modernize our PUVs, but it should be one that is progressive, just and humane.”
The lawmaker said that possible corruption in connection to the PUVMP would mean an enormous injustice to drivers who lost their livelihoods.
Transport group Manibela is currently gearing up for a transport strike next Monday, October 16, to voice their concerns about corruption and express their apprehension regarding the proposed phasing out of old public utility vehicles scheduled for December.