Puyat says contract of WSM has been forwarded to COA for review

By Analou De Vera

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Wednesday that the contract of the 'World Strongest Man' (WSM) has been forwarded to the Commission on Audit (COA) for review.

New Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN) New Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat

"Hindi lang ako komportable kasi it's a two million dollar contract ," said Puyat.

"Hindi lang ako komportable... Normally a contract should not be in dollars. Kasi diba nag flu-fluctuate yung ano (value) ," she added.

The 41st edition of the WSM events was held in the country last April 28 to May 6 and was staged in the different locations in the country. It was televised in over 70 countries by CBS Television.

Puyat, meanwhile, said that she is reviewing some contracts of her department which she finds "uncomfortable," which also include the controversial 'Buhay Carinderia' project.

"It is basically more of the contracts that I'm not comfortable with. I'm not saying that these contracts are bad," she explained.

"For me the proper agency to say that if I should proceed with the contract or not is the Commission on Audit. So, I will be guided by them... I would rather make sure that the people's money is safeguarded," she added.

Puyat's predecessor, former Secretary Wanda Teo was highly criticized due to the alleged irregularities on the different projects in the tourism department.

These include the P60 million advertisement deal of the DOT involving his two brothers, and the recent controversy on the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) food tourism program--the Buhay Carinderia.