The appointment of Mar Roxas as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications elicited contrasting reactions from among the factions within the Aquino administration as well as the politicians within the ruling coalition. One view says he was outflanked; the other view says it is a boon.
Certainly, Mar Roxas did not get the much-anticipated “Chief of Staff” assignment. In this sense, he was “outflanked” and was prevented from a closer tie with the President. If you measure power by how close you are to the seat of power, then this would be the case.
However, from a perspective of the 2016 elections, and assuming Mar Roxas is a presidential candidate, then the DOTC appointment may become a boon. The scenario, of course, is of a prospective candidate handling a key department that has a high visibility nationwide.
However, the immediate situation is one of a governance crisis, i.e., the DOTC has just lost a secretary and three undersecretaries, with fires in the LTO/LTFRB, ro-ro, railroad, expressways, killer highways, etc. It is a situation that can either make or break a future presidential candidate.
The CoS position does not appeal much at this point. It needs a lot of shuffling around in terms of defining its niche in the presidential totem pole. At the end of day, it may not be an ideal post for Mar.
If the presidential adviser position, whether formal or informal, is retained, then there is no diminution of Mar’s current authority. As DOTC secretary, there is the added advantage of a regular department, with its own personnel, budget, and sphere of influence. However, it is a given that Mar Roxas has a job cut out for him.