The President's Palace in Manila has announced the resignation of Bayani Fernando as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to concentrate on his other post, that of chairman of the Metro Manila D-evelopment Authority (MMDA).

Ignacio Bunye, presidential spokesman, said Florante Soriquez, Undersecretary of the Department, has been designated as acting secretary.

Soriquez was undersecretary at the Department.

Soriquez is a career employee who rose from the ranks to become assistant regional director, assistant secretary and now undersecretary.

Soriquez, 61, is an engineer and was credited with the completion of several government projects.

He began his employment in 1962 as an ordinary labourer helping to build the Manila International Airport driveway.

Bayani, according to the palace, opted to give up the DPWH post to remain full-time chairman of the MMDA, unclogging traffic and clearing sidewalks in the metropolis, among other things.

Bayani assumed the post of secretary at the Public Works Department in the concurrent capacity in January when then secretary Simeon Datumanong was named to the Department of Justice.

Cesar Lacuna, MMDA deputy chairman, said there was pressure on Fernando to choose between the two vital posts.

Lacuna theorised that Fernando's decision to leave the Public Works Department and concentrate on the MMDA could have been triggered by "questions of legality" over his holding two Cabinet positions.