Newly-appointed Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said yesterday that she will meet with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) head Cesar Montano to discuss allegations of corruption against him.
Puyat made the statement in a news briefing yesterday, when asked about the allegation of Philippine Star columnist Boo Chanco in his column that Montano allegedly paid P80 million for the TPB “Buhay Carinderia” project even before its completion.
Puyat said she “trusts” Chanco but would also “want to listen to Montano’s side.”
It was not the first time corruption allegations were hurled at Montano. Back in March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for allegedly “mismanaging” the board, over alleged misuse of funds and approving contracts for events where he himself performed.
Montano denied the allegations and instead said the accusations were “politically-motivated.”
The new tourism chief said the marching order of the President is to make sure there’s no corruption in her agency.
Meanwhile, on her first day as DOT Secretary, Puyat asked all non-career undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to submit their courtesy resignation.
Duterte appointed Puyat, a former agriculture undersecretary, after Wanda Teo resigned. Teo stepped down after the Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the P60 million ($1.15 million) paid by the tourism department for ad placements on the show of Teo’s brothers, Ben and Erwin Tulfo. (Aika Rey, Rappler.com)