Montano resigns; Duterte ‘very pleased’ with Puyat
Cesar Montano, the controversial chief executive officer of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), tendered his resignation to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Monday.
The actor-turned-politician stepped down more than a week after the COA questioned the TPB’s P80-million payment to the organizer of the “Buhay Carinderia” project even if the video series on Filipino street food and eateries had not been completed.
Montano’s resignation virtually completed Puyat’s overhaul of the top-level leadership position in the Department of Tourism (DOT) and its agencies.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Puyat’s efforts to clean up her department made President Duterte “very pleased.”
“She was appointed with the mandate to do good and to fight corruption and she is doing just that,’’ Roque said of Puyat in Monday’s press briefing. “The President is very pleased.”
Puyat replaced Wanda Tulfo-Teo, who stepped down last week. Teo was accused of conflict of interest for placing DOT advertisements worth P60 million in a PTV 4 program ran by her brother.
The Palace is also “very supportive” of Puyat’s directive requiring DOT undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to tender their resignation, he added.
“We would want [new Cabinet secretaries] to pick up their own management team so that they can be the most effective in their jobs,” he said.
Puyat also designated as DOT spokesperson Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, the only top official she spared from the DOT overhaul. —Christine O. Avendaño and Dexter Cabalza
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