By Analou De Vera
New Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said that she has asked undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to file their courtesy resignations.
“This afternoon, I asked for the resignations of all the Usecs (undersecretaries) and Asecs (assistant secretaries)… courtesy resignations. But of course, it doesn’t mean na mawawala na sila,” said Puyat during her first press conference on Tuesday at the Department of Tourism (DOT) office in Makati City.
In the same press conference, Puyat said that aside from ensuring that no corruption will happen at the DOT, she will also be very keen in reviewing all contracts and will make sure that all go through proper bidding to uphold transparency, stressing that these are the marching orders of President Duterte to her.
“Sobrang masinsinan as in hindi ako matutulog, titingnan lahat ng accountants ko, lahat ng abugado ko kasi kahit nung nasa Department of Agriculture ako, line by line lahat tinitingnan [It will be intensive, as in I will not sleep, my accountants and lawyers will review it all, even when I was still at the Department of Agriculture, line by line, we review it],” she said.
“Kailangan ko tingnan every program, every project… kahit na award na, kailangan kong tingnan [I need to review every program, every project, even if it was already awarded, I still need to review it],” she added.
Puyat also said she will also summon Cesar Montano, chief operating officer of Tourism Promotions Board to explain the alleged payment of P80 million for a food tourism program.
“I want to listen to Mr. Montano’s side… I’m planning to call him, to talk to him and ask for his side,” said Puyat.
Puyat, meanwhile, said that she is looking forward to work with the DOT’s career officials and rank-and-file employees.
“I’ve been working with the Department of Tourism for years. Marami akong nakasamang career officials and I always hold them in high regard, they are most professional of all. I’ve always enjoyed working with the Department of Tourism. I’m excited to meet all career officials and rank and file,” she said.