MANILAPresident Rodrigo R. Duterte is very pleased by the efforts being undertaken by newly-appointed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to fight corruption in her agency, MalacaAang said Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Romulo-Puyat requested the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a third party investigation into all ongoing projects of her agency including that of the its attached agency, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).
TPB is currently under fire for releasing PHP80 million as payment to a Filipino food tourism project, Buhay Carinderia-Redefined, in just one month.
The Buhay Carinderia-Redefined was launched in April 2018, with a goal to improve the image of local food stands that represent the Philippines' culture and culinary.
According to Romulo-Puyat, Buhay Carinderia did not undergo proper bidding, but via sponsorship.
Romulo-Puyat earlier said that she was shocked by the hundreds of millions spent in the projects promoted by the previous leadership at the DOT.
She was appointed with the expressed mandate to do good and to fight corruption and she is doing just that. The President is very pleased, Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Roque added that Duterte was also supportive of Romulo-Puyat's call asking the agency's undersecretaries and assistant secretaries of the agency, except career officials, to resign.
Very supportive. Of course all Cabinet secretaries, especially those who are have just been appointed enjoy full trust and confidence of the President and we would want them to have a fresh start and we would want them to pick their own management team, so that they can be the most effective in their jobs, Roque said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency