THE MMDA headquarters on EDSA and Orense Street, Makati — PATRICK ROQUE

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed a congressman from the Visayas as acting secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways, according to the presidential palace.

The President signed Southern Leyte Rep. Roger G. Mercado’s appointment paper on Oct. 12, a copy of which was sent to the Viber group of palace journalists.

Mr. Mercado will replace Mark A. Villar, who is running for senator in the 2022 elections.

Meanwhile presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said the president had also appointed lawyer Romando Artes as general manager of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

He will replace Jose Arturo Garcia, who resigned on Oct. 4.

“We are confident that Secretary Mercado and General Manager Artes will continue to oversee the completion of their department’s programs and projects in the remaining months of the current government,” Mr. Roque said in a statement.

Mr. Duterte has yet to name people who will assume Cabinet posts left by officials running in the elections next year.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo, Information and Communications Technology Sec. Gringo Honasan and Agrarian reform Sec. John R. Castriciones and MMDA Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” de Castro Abalos, Jr. are also vying for a Senate seat. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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