Friday, July 8, 2022

Appointment of Philippine Ports Authority General Manager is in Question

With the new administration, changes are happening in all of the agencies of the government. All are unstable just like the honeymoon  period, trying to make things work out for the betterment, but sometimes  this traditions must give way when very dangerous tendencies strart rearing their ugly heads. And that is exactly what happened when incoming ES Vic Rodriguez announced the appointment of Christopher Pastrana as General Manager of the Philippine Ports Authority.

The appointment reportedly caught the 2 other members of the screening committee, Naida Angping and Anton Lagdameo by surprise. More importantly, the appointment was announced at the same time as that of incoming DOTR Secretary Jimmy Bautista, even before the latter has even accepted.

And that was critical, because since PPA is an agency attached to the DOTR, such should have been vetted with him. That courtesy was extended to incoming Finance Secretary Ben Diokno, who had a say in the appointments of the respective heads of BSP,BIR and BOC. But not in the case of PPA. And the plot thickens, once one starts going deeper to find out who Pastrana is, and who his business partner is.

Pastrana is the President of two companies- Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corporation and Philippine Archipelago Ports and Terminal Services and Philharbor Ferries and Port Services. Archipelago owns FastCat ferries, while Philippine Archipelago operates port terminals.

These consideration should have legally disqualified Pastrana from being appointed to PPA, or to any other government agency that regulates his businesses. But it seems that ES Rodriguez failed to see this, even if Pastrana’s business partner is Dennis Trajano, Rodriguez’s bilas (their wives being sisters). Trajano, in fact, sits as Chairman of the board of both companies. But wait, there’s more, Pastrana’s brother-in-law is also a port operator himself, a certain Rommel Ibuna. As a result, Pastrana will end up regulating not only his businesses and that owned by his brother-in-law, but also lord it over the businesses of their competitors.

So, what do you think of this?

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