Business Cost NewsLocal Government NewsPart 4 News: General Business Environment

Bautista as new DOTr chief seen to push Philippine aviation further

Richmond Mercurio – The Philippine Star
June 27, 2022 | 12:00am


The country’s aviation industry is expected to soar to new heights with the appointment of a former airline executive as the next transportation chief.

The Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) welcomes the appointment of former Philippine Airlines (PAL) president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista as Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Bautista leading the DOTr could bode well for an industry that has been working toward recovery after a heavy beating from the  pandemic, the group said.

“He brings with him a lot of management experience, leadership, and knowledge in the aviation industry, having been president of PAL,” ACAP executive director Roberto Lim told The STAR.

“He knows the nuts and bolts of airline operations, the technical and human resource requirements, as well as the infrastructure requirements of the industry,” he said.

In particular, Lim said Bautista should be able to improve the country’s main international gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as well as other gateways, to make them more efficient, serve the public better, and commercially attractive.

For his part, AirAsia Philippines spokesperson and head of communications and public affairs Steve Dailisan said that with Bautista’s extensive background in aviation and transportation, the incoming transportation chief “possesses a perspective auspicious for the development of the sector he is leading.”

“AirAsia Philippines is here to support you and your programs, which we know will immensely bolster our industry’s recovery into the post-pandemic era,” Dailisan said.

However, Lim believes that Bautista will not simply focus on the aviation industry, but look at the country’s entire transportation landscape holistically.

“On the land sector, there are pressing needs to solve Metro Manila traffic. People who work in Metro Manila deserve a better transport system so that’s a priority,” he said.

“Maritime also needs attention because we’re an archipelagic nation, and of course, aviation also,” Lim said.

Bautista last week said he aims to transform the Philippine transport industry to global standards once he is at the helm of the agency.

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, in a statement yesterday, also welcomed Bautista’s appointment, saying that he personally knows his successor.

“We have long years of association and friendship. His professionalism, experience, dedication, and hard work will certainly augur well in his being the Secretary of Transportation. In the best of my abilities and capabilities, I shall assist in however way asked and needed,” Tugade said.

Tugade said the DOTr transition team is exerting all efforts to ensure a smooth, full, and transparent transition, one that is “of cooperation, one of support, and one that is geared in making the new administration successful.”

Bautista said he would meet with Tugade by Tuesday or Wednesday this week.