Puyat: Mon­tano may­have acted in good faith

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS - —MATTHEWREYSIO-CRUZ

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.

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.

BuhayCarinde­ria, 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.

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