MANILA, Philippines – Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade accepted the resignation of Transportation Undersecretary for Rails Noel Kintanar, a former Ayala Corporation (AC) executive who has been called out for possible conflict of interest.
“His resignation is effective 29 November 2016,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement on Wednesday, November 23.
“Mr Kintanar said he would like to give Secretary Tugade a free hand in addressing any and all misconceptions or doubts as to the impartiality and independence of the DOTr in addressing the many issues and concerns on transportation,” the DOTr added.
Being a former executive director of AC and a former chief operating officer of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Kintanar was earlier accused of conflict of interest.
Even House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had called for Kintanar’s dismissal for allegedly having a “vested interest” in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-Light Rail Transit (LRT) Common Station project.
AC Infrastructure owns 35% of Light Rail Manila Consortium, which bagged the P65-billion LRT1 Cavite Extension Project.
The design work for the Common Station project is bundled with the LRT1 Cavite Extension deal.
The Ayala group also won the following public-private partnership deals: the P2.01-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link Project, and the P1.72-billion Automatic Fare Collection System in partnership with Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.
Other than these awarded deals, Ayala has also set its sights on the North-South Railway Project (South Line), LRT6 Project, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Development Project.
Long list of deals
Tugade mentioned during his first day in office that it was Kintanar’s “deep knowledge” in the rail sector that made him decide to appoint the former Ayala executive as the undersecretary for rails.
But his appointment was mired by conflict-of-interest controversies.
With his resignation, a long list of rail infrastructure projects will be left in the hands of his successor.
Kintanar had vowed to implement a big rail transport plan, which includes 8 PPP projects, including a Metro Manila subway.
The former Ayala executive had told reporters that the LRT1 Cavite Extension, LRT2 operations and maintenance (O&M), LRT Line 4, LRT Line 6, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 7, as well as the extension of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) to Clark, Pampanga and to Los Baños, Laguna are being continued by his department. – Rappler.com