BBM names DOTr secretary-designate, nominees to key transport cluster posts

President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday named veteran airline executive Jaime “Jimmy” Bautista as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary-designate along with other key nominees in his administration’s transportation cluster.

Bautista, a Certified Public Accountant, worked at the country’s flagship Philippine Airlines (PAL) for 25 years and was its president for a combined 13 years before retiring for the second time in 2019.

Bautista rose through the ranks of PAL, eventually becoming vice president for finance from 1993 to 1994, chief finance officer from 1994 to 1999, executive vice president from 1999 to 2004, and  president from 2004 to 2012, and from 2014 until 2019.

President-elect Marcos Jr. also named former Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Deputy Administrator Cesar Chavez as Undersecretary-designate for Rails of the DOTr.

Appointed by President Duterte to the same post in 2017, Chavez was instrumental in securing the National Economic and Development Authority  Board’s approval for the Metro Manila Subway project, Philippine National Railways (PNR) Manila to Calamba, PNR Manila to Bicol, and the Tagum-Davao-Digos Mindanao rail projects.

Chavez is also credited for overseeing the interconnection of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 in Monumento to Metro Rail Transit  3 in North Edsa, ensuring seamless travel for the passengers.

Before working in the transport sector, Chavez was Assistant General Manager for Planning of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Chairman of the National Youth Commission, and youth sector Representative in the 9th Congress.

Meanwhile, veteran journalist and lawyer Atty. Cheloy E. Garafil, MNSA was nominated by President-elect Marcos as Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman-designate.

Atty. Garafil, currently a Service Director at the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives, was a Prosecutor for the Department of Justice (DOJ) and State Solicitor for the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

She worked as a media practitioner for over a decade in various media organizations such as the Philippine Daily Globe, Central News Agency, Associated Press, and Malaya.

Atty. Garafil also holds a Master’s degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College and is a Philippine Air Force reservist with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Rounding up President-elect Marcos’s nominees for his transport cluster is Christopher “Chet” Pastrana, who will be General Manager-designate of the Philippine Ports Authority.

Pastrana, a successful businessman in the transportation field, brings with him decades of experience in various aspects of aviation, logistics, and public maritime transport.

A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, in 1987, Pastrana is currently the President and CEO of CAPP Industries, a supply and logistics conglomerate.

Pastrana is also the chairman of Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corp., which operates FasCat ferries, the sector’s most recognizable and well-respected transport provider.