COA flags Cesar Montano’s ‘excessive, extravagant’ foreign trips
The Commission on Audit (COA) has flagged the “excessive and extravagant” foreign trips of resigned Tourism Promotions Board (TBP) chief operating officer (COO) Cesar Montano totaling to 14 trips in a span of 91 days.
In its 2017 audit report on the TBP, the state audit agency said records showed that Montano’s 14 foreign trips in 2017 had cost taxpayers a total of P 2.277 million.
COA also flagged TBP’s purchase of business class tickets amounting to P 594,000 for two foreign trips made by Montano as COO.
The agency said this was a violation of an existing order that limits government official’s trip to economy class unless authorized by the President.
“Travel abroad for more than 90 days and more than twelve (12) times in a year of an officer or employee is deemed excessive and may have adverse repercussions on the management of the affairs of the government corporation,” COA said in its audit report.
COA also observed that Montano’s officer in charge, Deputy for International Promotions made 12 foreign trips which cost P 1.957 million.
The agency also deemed “costly and unnecessary” to include Montano’s private secretary and executive assistant in almost every foreign travel he made.
Montano resigned from his hold-over post as TBP chief after figuring in scandals and irregularities in his agency. /je
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