MANILA - Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Monday promised to continue his commitment to deliver infrastructure projects necessary to spur the country's development as he shared the challenges he faced as transportation chief.
In a statement, Tugade said being a public servant was "a thankless endeavor, with too much expectation and too little appreciation".
He expressed how they were expected to be "superhuman," capable of doing "so much with so little effort".
"Ang hindi nila alam, marami ang pagod, nalulungkot, nagsasakripisyo dahil sa kawalan ng oras sa sarili at pamilya, ngunit hindi bumibitaw dahil sa pangakong binitiwan sa bayan (What they don't know is many are tired, sad, and are sacrificing their time for themselves and their family, but refuses to back down because of their promises to their country)," Tugade said.
He cited his own experience when he was given accusations or insults, noting that he felt hurt and fatigued.
"Tao lamang po, at syempre, tayo 'ho ay mahigit sitenta na (We're just people after all, and I'm already over 70 years old)," Tugade said.
He noted how he prayed and remembered his promise to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Filipino people to get through these challenges.
"Ang pangakong binitiwan ko sa Pangulo at sa mga Pilipino, na maglilingkod ako hanggang sa huli, at hanggang matapos ko ang mga proyekto (My promise to the President and to Filipinos, to serve until the end, and until I complete these projects)," Tugade said.
Despite these hardships, he said seeing a "validation of a lifetime of work and commitment" makes the sacrifices "worth it."
"Masaya ako dahil alam ko na ang mga sakripisyong ito ay para sa kapakinabangan ng sambayanang Pilipino, na umaasang magkaroon ng mas maunlad, maganda, at progresibong Pilipinas (I'm happy because I know this sacrifice is for the sake of the Filipino people who are expecting to have a thriving, beautiful, and progressive Philippines)," Tugade said.
In October, Tugade was endorsed by the PDP-Laban and included in its 2022 senatorial slate, but he announced he was not going to run to ensure that the completion of DOTr projects was "not, in any way, in aid of election". (PNA)