Marcos Jr. administration

LTFRB chief resigns to serve as Office of the Press Secretary OIC

Bea Cupin

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LTFRB chief resigns to serve as Office of the Press Secretary OIC

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista Jr and LTFRB Chair Cheloy Garafil, led the inauguration of the Roxas Blvd and Taft Busway Station in Pasay City on August 4, 2022. Rappler

Lawyer Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil steps down as LTFRB chairperson to serve a new role as a press undersecretary of President Marcos

MANILA, Philippines – Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil has resigned as chairperson of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to serve as an undersecretary at the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) and its officer-in-charge (OIC).

“Today, October 7, 2022, I tendered my resignation as LTFRB Chairperson as I have accepted the offer to help in the…Office of the Press Secretary as its Undersecretary and OIC of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS),” Garafil announced in a statement.

The announcement came three days after Trixie Cruz-Angeles resigned from the post after being bypassed by the Commission on Appointments.

“This is a great honor and privilege and I thank the President for this opportunity to once again work with him in his administration to serve the Filipino people,” Garafil added.

Garafil was designated as OPS OIC as Malacañang looks for a new press secretary, following the resignation of Trixie Cruz-Angeles, whose nomination was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments. Unlike other bypassed Cabinet secretaries, Angeles was not reappointed.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin also confirmed Garafil’s appointment, although her appointment papers have yet to be made public.

Garafil is no stranger to government work. She was director II at the House Committee of Rules and was a prosecutor and state solicitor under the Justice Department and the Office of the Solicitor General, respectively.

She’s also familiar with the media industry, having worked for several news organizatons.

Media relations is also in Garafil’s resume. She was once a media officer of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, an ally of the Marcos administration.

In a chance interview with Palace media on Thursday, October 6, Marcos said he would choose a press secretary who is a “friend” of the media.

We obviously need somebody who is very experienced in the… probably a journalist or is a media practitioner, ‘yun naman ang kailangan, ang marunong mag messaging para yung mga gusto naming palabasin talagang lumalabas (that’s what we need, someone who knows messaging so we’re able to get our message accross),” Marcos said.

The Marcos administration is said to be eyeing at least three candidates for the job, all of them former media personalities: Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, Mike Toledo, and Gilbert Remulla.

The OPS handles both media and public relations, as well as the operation of several state-run media agencies, and the National Printing Office. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.