Marcos Jr. administration

Marcos picks SMC Tollways CEO Manuel Bonoan as public works secretary

Aika Rey

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Marcos picks SMC Tollways CEO Manuel Bonoan as public works secretary

NEW POST. Manuel Bonoan is chosen to lead the Department of Public Works and Highways.

RTVM video screenshot

(1st UPDATE) Manuel Bonoan is not new to the Department of Public Works and Highways, previously serving as an undersecretary and briefly as acting chief
Marcos picks SMC Tollways CEO Manuel Bonoan as public works secretary

MANILA, Philippines – President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced that he picked SMC Tollways president and chief executive officer Manuel “Manny” Bonoan to be the next Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary.

“I am intending to nominate Manny Bonoan for the [DPWH]. He has spent almost his entire professional life in the DPWH. I know him very well. I know he will do a good job,” Marcos said on Thursday, May 26.

Leading the DPWH would not be new for Bonoan. He served as acting public works chief from February to July 2007 under the Arroyo administration.

Before this, Bonoan was an assistant secretary during the Ramos administration, then an undersecretary during the Estrada and Arroyo administrations.

He later became the president of Ramon Ang-led Skyway O&M Corporation, managing the operations of tollways Skyway, NAIA Expressway, South Luzon Expressway, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, before leading SMC Tollways.

Bonoan hails from Ilocos Norte, Marcos’ bailiwick.

Marcos also announced choices for his economic team, including incumbent Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno as finance secretary, Alfredo Pascual as trade chief, and Felipe Medalla as BSP governor.

Bonoan on Thursday night thanked the incoming president for choosing him to lead DPWH. He said that the Marcos administration will continue the Duterte administration’s flagship infrastructure program Build, Build, Build.

“It’s a very challenging job that we need to do in the department in the midst of the financial crisis. Well, I’ve not really discussed all the details with the incoming president, but he has given me some directions on how to proceed,” Bonoan said in an interview with One News’ The Chiefs.

The incoming public works chief said that the Marcos administration will be “very selective” with infrastructure projects.

“We will continue with the Build, Build, Build program and complete what was started in the fastest possible time. At the same time, we need to look at the list of projects so that we consider and prioritize them to look for the high impact projects that can contribute immediately to the much needed economic recovery,” he said.

Bonoan also mentioned that the incoming administration will look into having more public-private partnerships. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at