Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Arthur Tugade admitted that he was saddened by the resignation of Transportation Undersecretary Rails Noel Kintanar, a former Ayala Corporation executive who has been called out for possible conflict of interest.
In an interview during the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) national management conference at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao on Thursday, Tugade said that he felt unhappy for losing a “truly professional and decent man from the private sector wanting to serve the government”.
“Sayang kasi nakakita ako ng oportunidad na kumbitahin yung mga professionals sa pribado to join the government (It was unfortunate because I have seen opportunity to encourage professionals from the private sector to join the government)” Tugade added.
The secretary added that he recognized Kintanar’s request to save his name and his family’s from “further talks and allegations.”
Tugade said that on one of their conversations, Kintanar said that he wanted to stay and prove people wrong but the allegations proved to be heavy-handed for the former transport undersecretary.
“He also wanted to give me a free hand to address the needs of the organization,” added Tugade.
He stressed that Kintanar’s resignation was not to accept the accusations thrown to him but only to give the DOTC secretary the authority to handle any and all misconceptions or doubts as to the impartiality and independence of the DOTr in addressing the many issues and concerns on transportation.
On the issue of Kintanar’s replacement, Tugade said he will not yet disclose any detail about it although he has been eyeing on some personalities already.
Tugade has accepted the resignation of Noel Kintanar as undersecretary for rails on Wednesday which will take effect on November 29.
Kintanar was an executive at Ayala Corporation, which was involved in some of the infrastructure projects of the government under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.