DOTr chief Jaime Bautista is COVID positive

·2 min read
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista speaks at the Flag-raising and Turnover Ceremony of the Leadership of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on July 4, 2022 in Quezon City, Philippines. (Photo: DOTr/Facebook)
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista speaks at the Flag-raising and Turnover Ceremony of the Leadership of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on July 4, 2022 in Quezon City, Philippines. (Photo: DOTr/Facebook)

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista tested positive for COVID-19, the agency disclosed on Friday (July 22).

“Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista has tested positive for COVID-19. He is now in isolation, and is exhibiting mild symptoms of headache and cough,” DOTr said.

The transportation chief is currently experiencing a mild headache and cough. Despite his condition, however, Bautista continues to do his work as Transportation Secretary even in isolation.

“Secretary Bautista continues to perform his duties, and is in constant communication with his staff,” the DOTr said in a statement.

This comes a week after Bautista inspected the agency’s programs in anticipation of the return to face-to-face classes, when it is expected that more commuters will be using public transportation.

Earlier, the Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the transportation agency over P128.42 million in additional fees incurred due to setbacks in 14 foreign-assisted projects worth P1.61 trillion. This is on top of 13 projects worth P8.664 billion that were also flagged because they were either delayed, terminated, or suspended for various reasons.

The transport chief also said that is willing to take mass transportation to understand the daily problems encountered by commuters. His statement comes amid a complaints about the increasingly chaotic commuter situation in Metro Manila worsened by rising oil prices.

Prior to his appointment as transport secretary, Bautista was quoted as saying that he has little idea about the country's land transportation sector.

He associates this with his experience of primarily working in the aviation and marine sectors, hence he is more knowledgeable about these two than land transportation.

“I'll have to talk to Secretary Tugade, because I don't have much idea about the major problems of the land transport,” he said in a DZRH interview. “I know the issues of the aviation, and some issues about marine, because right now I am a Director of a shipping company, and I know the problems in shipping, I know the problems in airlines, but I may need some more time to understand the issues of the land transport.”

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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