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Puyat: Montano may have acted in good faith

/ 06:47 AM May 18, 2018


New Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat faces the media at the DOT office in Makati as the secretary arrive to meet with officers and employees to start his day in office on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

In her 12 years in government service, new Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat had never seen anything like the “Buhay Carinderia” project of Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) head Cesar Montano.

Puyat suspended all ongoing and pending TPB programs until they are cleared by the Commission on Audit.

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She said there was no need to ask Montano to resign because he would only be in his post until June, when a new TPB head would be nominated.

Puyat, who met with Montano on Wednesday, said she believed that Montano “acted in good faith” in implementing the controversial Buhay Carinderia project.

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Buhay Carinderia, a video series meant to promote Filipino street food, was scrutinized after the TPB was found to have paid P80 million to the Marylindbert International ad agency, although only 15 percent of the work had been completed.

Puyat earlier asked all DOT undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to tender courtesy resignations, with the exception of Undersecretary Benito Bengzon. She has also nominated Arturo Boncato Jr. as undersecretary. —MATTHEW REYSIO-CRUZ

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TAGS: Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Buhay Carinderia, Cesar Montano, Commission On Audit, Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board
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