Puyat zeroes in on foreign travels of DOT officials
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.