Transport groups bat for lawmaker as new LTO chief

MANILA, Philippines – Some transport organizations are urging president-elect Benigno Aquino III to appoint Rep. Vigor Mendoza of 1-Utak party-list as head of the Land Transportation Office.

The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) and the Association of Metro Manila Taxi Operators (ATOMM) have issued a statement endorsing Mendoza to the post currently held by chairman Alberto Suansing.

Mendoza, prior to holding a seat in Congress as a transport party-list representative, was once spokesman of Hacienda Luisita Inc., which is owned by the Cojuangco clan.

Mendoza, who chairs the United Transport Koalisyon or 1-Utak, also served as commissioner of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board from 1998 to 2001.

CTAP chairman Rudy de Ocampo and ATOMM president Leonora Naval said Mendoza has been a strong advocate of reforms in the transport sector. They said he has filed reform bills in Congress such as those for the unified ticketing system, the opening of retail trade in the oil market, and the creation of a traffic courts system.  – Reinir Padua