Tourism chief Puyat confirms Kat de Castro still with DOT
Contrary to reports that she was on floating status, Undersecretary Kat De Castro continues to stay with the Department of Tourism (DOT) in charge of national parks.
This was confirmed by newly-appointed Tourism Secretary Berna Puyat, who told Senate reporters on Tuesday, “She’s an undersecretary but she’s now in charge of the parks, national parks, Intramuros, so she can continue with that.”
“But the official Spokesperson is Bong Benzon because he’s been there for 32 years. I wanted my spokesperson to be a senior official,” she said.
She was referring to Benito Bengzon Jr., Undersecretary for tourism and development planning, whom she designated as the agency’s spokesman.
Pressed if De Castro was not on floating status, Puyat repeated her response: “She’s still doing her job, she’s handling the parks, Intramuros, she’s still doing it. Ang spokesperson lang, it’s Bong Benzon,” the DoT chief said.
Puyat said De Castro also denied talks that the latter’s firm had cornered some government contracts.
“I leave it up to the proper authorities to decide on mga contracts na sinasabi,” Puyat said.
Until now, Puyat said De Castro’s performance and that of other undersecretaries and assistant secretaries remained under review .
Puyat said she would leave it up to De Castro to decide if she still wants to stay with the agency.
“Baka naman ayaw na rin nya sa akin di ba..? Baka gusto na rin nyang lumipat, it’s up to her,” Puyat said.
Asked about other issues in the agency, she said she would rather focus on her work and should she discover any irregularities, she would just “quietly” report it to the Commission on Audit. /vvp
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