Puyat ze­roes in on for­eign trav­els of DOT of­fi­cials

Manila Bulletin - - News - By BETHEENA KAE UNITE

Be­long to the De­part­ment of Tourism (DOT) is not a li­cense for an of­fi­cial to travel all over the world, Tourism Sec­re­tary Ber­nadette Ro­mulo Puyat stressed Thurs­day as she an­nounced that she will be strict over for­eign trav­els.

“I will be very strict on for­eign trav­els. Even when I was at the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture (DA). Hindi porque lang DOT ka, puwede ka nang mag-travel all over the world (Just be­cause you are at the DOT, does not mean you can travel all over the world), ”Puyat stressed.

“Again, that's peo­ple's money. Hindi tama. So kahit nasa DA marami kam­ing food shows abroad, we re­ally limit ang pupunta at tinatanong kung ano ang gagawin (It's not right. In DA, we have food shows abroad but we limit the del­e­ga­tion, we ask them their ac­tiv­i­ties). I'm very strict kasi peo­ple's money ‘yan, e (be­cause that is peo­ple's money),” she added.

It was re­called that in Fe­bru­ary, for­mer Tourism Sec­re­tary Wanda Teo was crit­i­cized for al­legedly bring­ing her per­sonal staff in of­fi­cial trips in the coun­try or abroad.

Pre­vi­ously, some gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials have been sacked over al­leged ex­ces­sive and un­nec­es­sary for­eign trips.

Pres­i­dent Duterte early this year signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der lim­it­ing the trav­els of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials as part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion's an­ti­cor­rup­tion cam­paign.

Mean­while, Puyat said she is not sat­is­fied with just 6.6 mil­lion tourist ar­rivals into the coun­try, say­ing the Philip­pines can do bet­ter be­cause we have “the best food, best sights, best des­ti­na­tion, and best peo­ple.”

“Last year, we had 6.6 mil­lion vis­i­tors and I will still be dis­cussing with the team on what are our plans. Be­cause 6.6 mil­lion is low com­pared to our Asian neigh­bors. I have to talk to the team, def­i­nitely I'm not happy with 6.6 mil­lion,” Puyat said.

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