A MULTISECTORAL group on Wednesday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to replace Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade whom they described as “unfit” for the job.
Wake Up Pinoy Movement chairman Ruperto Cruz said Tugade was fixated on securing emergency powers that would allow him to forgo biddings for priority projects instead of solving the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila.
Cruz said Tugade had a poor record when he was head of Clark Development Corp.
“He has done irreversible damage to Clark. He made several questionable deals that were disadvantageous to the government,” Cruz said.
“He was also fond of putting confidentiality clauses in the lease-agreement contracts entered into by Clark locators and the CDC, barring the public from scrutinizing these agreements.”
Cruz warned that the same thing might happen to the Transport Department’s proposed projects that would be covered by special powers.
“If that happens, President Duterte will be long gone from public service after his six-year term, and Tugade will still be benefiting from the contracts that will be part of the emergency powers package,” he said.
“It will be a disservice to the public if the President reappoints him. We will continue to oppose his appointment because it is the right thing to do.”
Some lawmakers have also urged Duterte not to reappoint Tugade because he does not deserve a second chance after his dismal performance, and in particular his failure to at least ease the traffic congestion in Metro Manila within 100 days of assuming office.
“The fact that Tugade failed to at least ease the worsening traffic crisis in Manila as promised, it is but proper that he should not be confirmed,” said Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, a member of the House minority bloc.
Navotas City Rep. Tobias Tiangco said he was also opposed to Tugade’s reappointment.
House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said Duterte should fire Tugade if he fails to address the worsening traffic condition by the end of the year.
“Let us give him another month. If people still experience the traffic nightmare during the Christmas season, then the President should fire him already,” Suarez said.
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