Controversial Candidate for LTO Stirs Up Business Community

Why would a former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) board member and fleet operator be appointed as the new chief of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) after being sacked?

It seems that lobbyists are advocating for the appointment of a lawyer as assistant secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and LTO chief.

However, the nominee in question was previously dismissed from the LTFRB more than two decades ago for alleged graft practices.

Last month, some officials sent a letter to the Office of the President endorsing this controversial individual as transportation assistant secretary and concurrent LTO chief.

One DOTr official, who had reservations about the appointment, made it clear that his endorsement was based on the recommendation of a colleague in government.

Interestingly enough, this former official was dismissed as an LTFRB board member by a previous administration’s executive secretary, upon the recommendation of the Presidential Commission Against Graft and Corruption.

The grounds for dismissal were based on a complaint that while serving as the officer in charge of the LTFRB, he unilaterally lifted the moratorium on the processing of public utility bus applications, contrary to the board’s established policy as a collegial body.

Clearly, appointing this individual with a questionable past will not only tarnish the reputation of the Cabinet and the Marcos administration but also potentially create a conflict of interest, as he currently owns and operates a fleet of public utility vehicles.

How will the Palace decide on this delicate matter? Stay tuned!

—Daxim L. Lucas

Top investment banks

Despite the challenges in fundraising during the post-pandemic era, a few domestic banks have stood out in the capital market and received recognition from FinanceAsia, a regional publication.

One of the winners is BPI Capital Corp., the investment banking arm of Bank of the Philippine Islands, which was named the best debt capital market house for 2023.

Some of its notable deals include the highly oversubscribed bond offerings of internet tycoon Dennis Anthony Uy’s Converge ICT Solutions and its affiliate ACEN Corp.’s inaugural green bond issuance in 2022.

“This award affirms our leading position in the domestic debt capital market and demonstrates our ability to provide client-focused debt solutions with excellent execution. We have a strong track record in executing capital market transactions,” said Francis Jardeleza, the COO and director of BPI Capital.

In addition, BPI was recognized as the best “sustainable bank,” while the overall best lender was BDO Unibank Inc., owned by the Sy family.

First Metro Investment Corp., led by the Ty family, was named the best equity capital market house, while finalists included China Bank Capital, led by the Sy family, and SB Capital Investment, led by Frederick Dy.

—Miguel R. Camus INQ


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