During a press briefing on May 16, 2016, presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte names Art Tugade, the former chief executive officer of Clark Development Corporation (CDC), as the next chief of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
The 69-year-old lawyer-businessman held the position at CDC since 2012 after being recommended by outgoing president Benigno Aquino III. A few weeks prior to the elections however, Tugade resigned from his post at CDC to rally support for Duterte’s candidacy. His history with Duterte goes way back about 40 years, with the two having been classmates in San Beda College of Law. Tugade graduated cum laude in 1971, with Duterte graduating 1972 without honors.
Under his watch, Tugade claims CDC’s net income from 2013-2015 reached P1.49 billion. In comparison, the firm’s net income for 16 years, from 1996 to 2012 on the other hand, was only P1.44 billion. The CDC is tasked with managing the Clark Freeport and Clark Special Economic Zone, two areas in Pampanga that are currently among the country’s investment destinations.
Tugade has no political background nor affiliations with any political dynasty. Having been a self-made man since the beginning, his story is much like that of a rags-to-riches type of story that frequents teleseryes. After his family suffered a house fire and was left homeless, he studied for free from elementary to Law School thanks to a scholarship from San Beda College. He pursued further studies at the National University of Singapore under the Stanford-NUS Executive Program.