The Department of Transportation (DOTr), upon orders from the President himself, are very serious about cracking down on corruption within their ranks these past few days with a wave of relieve orders, suspension orders and sacking officials from the main office as well as regional and satellite offices.

Following complaints from truckers and rice traders from Nueva Vizcaya that Land Transportation Office (LTO) employees had been extorting money from them as they transported their goods from the province during a stakeholder meeting with the rice industry, the President then contacted DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to relay the complaints.

The truckers and rice traders alleged that some of the LTO personnel were able to extort as much as PhP 1,000,000 a day from their illegal activities.

In a statement from the DOTr, Tugade was said to be “fuming mad” over the allegations, prompting the Transportation Secretary to instruct LTO Chief Edgar Galvante to execute a relieve order on the officials in the province, specifically their two satellite offices in Nueva Vizcaya: Aritao and Bayombong.

All in all, 11 officials and employees from the two offices were relieved of duty, with their offices and tasks subsequently reassigned to be undertaken by two of the closest LTO district offices. There was also an order recalling the deputation order of the personnel that manned the truck weigh bridge at Aritao.

Sec. Tugade extended a warning to the personnel under his purview that they should not involve themselves in these corrupt practices, and to not wait for him to remove them from their posts if he finds out that they are involved. 

The DOTr also relieved and/or sacked officers from other agencies like the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the DOTr's own Road Transport Planning Division and their Environmentally Sustainable Initiative Transportation Unit. Some of the charges included the acceptance of bribes, tampering with employment contracts for bigger paychecks, and even operating a pasalubong center in an airport. 

According to the DOTr statement, the Secretary said that he will not tolerate or coddle termites in his ranks, and will not hesitate to terminate them.