President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has named lawyer and businessman Jose Arturo “Jay Art” Tugade as the new Assistant Secretary to head the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Mr. Marcos also named former Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) officer-in-charge (OIC) Ernesto Perez as the new Director General of the anti-red tape body.
Perez succeeds lawyer Jeremiah Belgica, who served from July 2019 to June 2022.
After taking his oath of office before Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista on Monday, Tugade vowed to implement reforms within the agency and improve service delivery to the people.
“We are partners for progress, advocates of safety, and must be champions of excellence and efficiency. Foremost, we need to remember that we are in the service industry. Hence, we need to focus and improve the quality of our customer service to the public,” Tugade said in a statement.
Bautista said of Tugade – who was initially appointed to the Manila International Airport Authority — in a separate statement: “With his experience in management and litigation, I believe that he will make a difference in the LTO with the many problems and controversies being faced by the agency.”
The current LTO OIC, lawyer Teofilo Guadiz, will take on the position of Assistant Secretary for the Road Sector of the Department of Transportation, Bautista added.
“While Atty. Tugade’s appointment was announced a few weeks ago, we have come to a conclusion that he is best suited for the very challenging job in the LTO. When I talked to Atty Tugade after the announcement, we both discussed how we can better serve the DOTr. It was then that we realized that he is better suited to the LTO,” the Transportation chief said.
“We immediately asked the indulgence of the President and explained the gravity of the situation in the LTO and the importance of the work that has to be done as well as the willingness of Atty. J-Art to do it. In the end, the President understood the situation,” Bautista explained.
As the new LTO chief, Tugade has likewise highlighted promoting intensified road safety campaign as one of his top priorities. To do this, he committed to further strengthening the presence of LTO enforcers to properly implement transportation laws and traffic codes.
Meanwhile, Perez thanked the President for his trust and guidance as well as his colleagues for helping him ensure efficient government service.
“This appointment is really providential, as it would allow us to further continue what we have always aspired for from the very start, that is, to remove red tape and increase the ease of doing business, ultimately benefiting the economy and the people,” he said.
Perez vowed to do his best to streamline government processes and provide better service to the public. He has been ARTA Deputy Director General for Operations since 2019 and concurrent OIC of the agency since June 2022.
Perez was appointed in December 2018, serving as ARTA’s first-ever employee. He is a lawyer and certified public accountant by profession.
He served as the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Consumer Protection Group from Jan. 6, 2017, to Nov. 30, 2018.
Perez served as chairperson of the DTI-Steel Task Force where he led the investigation of the biggest steel importations in the country.
He also served as OIC-Director of the Bureau of Philippine Standards, where he promulgated the development of 108 new standards and the revision of 151 Philippine National Standards aligned with the international standards of ISO/IEC and good regulatory practices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Vince Lopez and Darwin Amojelar