Milestones (8)

Date Milestone
21 January 1899

The Malolos Constitution was ratified during a general assembly of Congress, and the first Council of Government of the First Philippine Republic was created.

From January 21, 1899 to May 7, 1899, with Apolinario Mabini as President of the Cabinet (i.e. Prime Minister), Gracio Gonzaga served as the Secretary of Public Welfare, which included the transportation and communications portfolio.


07 May 1899 to 13 November 1899 When Mabini was replaced by Pedro Paterno as President of the Cabinet, among the seven departments set up was the Communicaciones y Obras Publicasâ (i.e. the Communications and Public Works Department). Maximo Paterno was appointed as Secretary of Public Works and Communications. Since then, Public Works, Transportation, and Communications have been grouped into one department.
Date Milestone
04 January 1899

In his letter to Filipinos, US Major-General Elwell S. Otis, the Military Governor of the Philippines, announced US President William McKinley’s instructions for the islands’  “Benevolent Assimilation.” The instructions stated that the management of public property and revenue, and the use of all public means of transportation, were to be conducted by the military authorities (i.e. by the US Army) until such time that they would be transferred back to civilian authority. Thus, the Bureau of Engineering was placed under the supervision of American military engineers. The ports were opened to commerce for all foreign nations.


06 February  1901

The 1901 municipal code provided for popularly elected municipal board members who were responsible for collecting taxes, maintaining municipal properties, and undertaking necessary construction projects.


06 September 1901

The Philippine Commission established the Department of Commerce and Police, which encompassed the functions of transportation and communications.


01 July 1902
The Philippine Bill of 1902 or the Philippine Organic Act authorized the Government of the Philippine Islands to provide for the needs of commerce. This includes improving harbours, constructing maintaining bonded warehouses, wharves, piers, light-houses, signal and life-saving stations, buoys, and like instruments of commerce, as well as to adopt and enforce regulations.


18 November 1916 The Reorganization Act 2666 as amended by Act No. 2803 gave birth to the Department of Commerce and Communications, consisting of the Bureau of Commerce and Industry, Bureau of Supply, Bureau of Public Works, Bureau of Posts, Bureau of Labor and Bureau of Coast and Geodetic Survey.


18 January 1917 to 03 October 1922 When the first cabinet comprised of Filipinos was organized, Gov. Gen. Francis. B. Harrison appointed Cebu governor Dionisio Jakosalem as Secretary of Commerce and Communication. The construction of roads and public buildings marked his administration as governor of Cebu. He is credited with having linked the southern and northern parts of the province with roads.


01 May 1931 The Philippine Legislature through Act No. 4007, renamed the Department of Commerce and Communications into the Department of Public Works and Communications
Date Milestone
15 November 1935
The inauguration of the Commonwealth Government, the Department of Public Works and Communications was reorganized to be composed of the Bureau of Public Works, Ports, Aeronautics, Coast and Geodetic Survey, Metropolitan Water District Division of Marine, Railway and Repair Shop, National Radio Broadcasting, Irrigation Council and Board of Examiners for Civil, Mechanical,Chemical and Mining Engineers.


Mariano Jesús Diosomito Cuenco, a Cebuano politician and prolific writer became the Secretary of Public Works and Communications from 1936 to 1939. He was also appointed Acting Secretary of the agriculture, commerce and labor departments while serving as Secretary of Public Works and Communications in 1938.


Date Milestone
24 December 1941 to 01 August 1944
During the Japanese occupation,  the exiled Commonwealth government of President Manuel Quezon issued Executive Order 396, which reorganized and grouped the cabinet. The Department of Public Works and Communication became the Department of National Defense, Public Works, Communications and Labor, with Basilio Valdes as Secretary.


23 January 1942
On Philippine soil, to mitigate the sufferings of the people under the iron-clad rule of the Japanese, the Philippine Executive Commission was established. Under President Jose P. Laurel’s administration, Quintin Paredes served as Minister of Public Works and Communications.


Date Milestone
08 August 1944
President Sergio Osmeña issued Executive Order 15-W reorganizing and consolidating the Executive Departments of the Commonwealth government with Secretary BasilioValdes as Secretary of National Defense and Communications.


27 February 1945
The reorganization of the government after it was re-established on Philippine soil was undertaken with Executive Order No. 27. The Department of National Defense and Communications was again named Department of Public Works and Communications.


08 March 1945-1946
Justice Sotero Cabahug replaced Secretary Valdes as Secretary of Public Works and Communications.
Date Milestone
1946-1948 Ricardo Nepumoceno served as Secretary of Public Works and Communications under the administration of President Manuel Roxas. He continued to do so under the administration of President Elpidio Quirino.


01 January 1951
President Elpidio Quirino reconstituted  the Department of Public Works and Communications into the Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (DPWTC) through Executive Order 392. The EO included, under the Department, the Bureaus of Public Works, Posts, Telecommunications, Motor Vehicles Office, Irrigation Council, Flood Control Commission, Radio Control Board, National Transportation  Board and Government Quarters Committee.


Date Milestone
1965-1973 President Ferdinand Marcos appointed Manuel Syquio as Acting Secretary of Public Works and Communications.


Under the 1973 Constitution, a Parliamentary Form of governance was established and departments were renamed into ministries establishing the formal ministry system. Hence, the Department of Public Works and Communications became the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (MPWTC).


23 July 1979
To redefine the roles and priorities of each government ministry, Former President Ferdinand Marcos issued Executive Order 546 that divided the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (MPWTC) into two agencies, the Ministry of Public Works and Highways (MPWH) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC). Minister Jose P. Dans served as head of the MOTC.
Date Milestone
26 February, 1986 The assumption to power of Former Corazon C. Aquino paved the way for the appointment of Batangas Congressman Hernando B. Perez as Minister of MOTC.


16 March 1987 Rainerio O. Reyes was appointed at the helm MOTC replacing Minister Perez. To effect the reorganization of the Ministry, the MOTC was transformed into a Department, pursuant to Executive Order No. 125 and 125-A dated April 13, 1987.


13 January 1990 Oscar M. Orbos was appointed Secretary of the Department. As DOTC Secretary, he popularized the yellow lane, wherein the two outermost lanes of roads with 4-6 lanes are reserved for public utility vehicles.


20 December 1990 President Corazon Aquino chose Arturo C. Corona to replace Secretary Orbos, whom she appointed as Executive Secretary.


23 March 1991 The DOTC, during the last few months of President Aquino's administration, was led by Secretary Pete Nicomedes Prado.


01 July 1992 The DOTC was put under the helm of leadership of Secretary Jesus B. Garcia. These years marked a significant growth in terms of investments, facilities and technology. The government's liberalization policy attracted local and foreign investors which ushered in new resources and technologies in, among others, the transportation and communications sectors. In line with the multi-modal/multi-gateway approach/strategy, the Department interlinked the various modes and technologies of its area of jurisdiction in the implementation of its infrastructure projects.


01 April 1996 Harvard-educated Amado S. Lagdameo, Jr. was sworn into office as Secretary of DOTC. His “strategic redirection” thrust realigned the development of the railway and maritime transport and is the precursor of the future concept of a nationwide link-up in land and water modes of transportation.


16 April 1997 The DOTC was placed under the new stewardship of Ret. AFP Chief Arturo T. Enrile. He adopted consultation and consensus-building as cornerstones of his leadership. He likewise adopted transport safety, the upliftment and modernization of transport and communications as viable investment generators and rendering of frontline services to the citizenry as cornerstones of his leadership.


15 January 1998 With the untimely demise of Secretary Enrile, the stewardship of the DOTC fell into the highly capable hands of his Undersecretary for Communications, Josefina T. Lichauco. She was mainly responsible for the liberalization and the breaking of monopolies in the country's communications facilities during her term as Undersecretary.


01 July 1998 The assumption to the Presidency of former Vice President Joseph Estrada gave way for the former Congressman Vicente C. Rivera, Jr. to take on the DOTC portfolio as Secretary.


29 January, 2001 A former member of the House of Congress, lawyer Pantaleon D. Alvarez was former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's choice for the top DOTC post. He is known for revitalizing the DOTC Action Center with its “Oks na Oks sa DOTC” program.


04 July 2002 Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza assumed the helm of leadership at the DOTC, which has led to the full commitment of entire organization to become a staunch partner towards a strong republic. Under his leadership, the Strong Republic Nautical Highway and other major SONA transport infrastructure projects of President Arroyo were completed. Under his term, the Communications sector was placed under the newly formed Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT).


January 12, 2004 The Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 269, signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as a transitory measure to the creation of a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The CICT was composed of the National Computer Center (NCC), the Telecommunications Office (TELOF), and all other operating units of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) dealing with communications.


August 16, 2005 Executive Order No. 454 transferred the NTC back to the DOTC. According to EO 454, the transfer "will streamline bureaucracy operations."


February 17, 2007 Executive Order No. 603, transferred the TELOF and all other operating units of the CICT dealing with communications back to the DOTC.


August 6, 2007 Executive Order No. 648 published only on December 24, 2008, transferred the NTC back to the CICT.


January 29, 2009 Executive Order No. 780 transferred the TELOF and all other operating units of the DOTC dealing with communications back to the CICT, thereby returning the CICT to its original composition.


March 10, 2010 Upon the appointment of Secretary Mendoza as President Arroyo’s Executive Secretary, his Road Transport Undersecretary Anneli R. Lontoc was appointed as Acting Secretary to ensure the smooth transition to the incoming administration.


July 1, 2010 When President Benigno Simeon Aquino III assumed office, the DOTC portfolio was entrusted to DOTC Secretary Jose P. de Jesus. Transparency and accountability, a level playing field and forging partnerships are the keystones to his administration.


About Us

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing and administrative entity of the executive branch of the government on the promotion, development and regulation of a dependable and coordinated network of transportation and communications systems, as well as in the fast, safe, efficient and reliable transportation and communications services.

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Did You Know...

  • that the DOTC is the biggest among the executive departments?

    The Department covers road, rail, air, water and communications sectors. To carry out its mandate, the Department has fifteen (15) attached agencies / corporations and three (3) line / sectoral offices.

    Please visit the sectoral and attached agencies, to know more about the Department.

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