Senators welcome Romulo-Puyat’s appointment as DOT chief

MANILA Senators on Wednesday welcomed the appointment of Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as Tourism Secretary, stressing that her "competence and integrity" makes her an excellent choice for the job.

She is an excellent choice. She has the academic and professional credentials, Senator Grace Poe said in a text message to reporters.

The lady senator said Puyat had also proven herself to be a competent and dedicated public official during her stint in various capacities under three different administrations.

Poe cited Puyat's penchant for promoting the different provinces she had visited and showcasing the local food products, including the indigenous craftsmanship unique to an area, during her stint as an official of the Department of Agiculture (DA).

This, according to her, is an additional benefit that Romulo-Puyat will bring to Philippine tourism.

I'm confident that Puyat will raise the bar for our tourism industry, and promote awareness for our country that is both exciting and positive, she said.

The senator said that with her proven competence and dedication, Romulo-Puyat would get the nod from the powerful Commission on Appointments.

She is definitely qualified, Poe said.

Poe's sentiments were shared by Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV.

We believe in her competence and integrity as the new Tourism Secretary, the opposition senator said.

It is good if she will immediately be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments so that she will immediately act on the concerns at the DOT, such as the Boracay closure and rehabilitation, Aquino said.

Senator Nancy Binay likewise welcomed Romulo-Puyat's appointment as DOT chief, also pointing to the latter's previous works at the DA in promoting agricultural tourism.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism, I look forward to working with her to push forward our tourism agenda, and bring her expertise in farm tourism and eco-tourism being sustainable approaches to rural development, Binay said in a statement.

Senator Sonny Angara also believed that the incoming Tourism Secretary is a good choice for the post.

She is very personable and articulate and is suited to the job of selling the Philippine brand. Am sure she can work to fast-track the tourism infrastructures badly needed too, Angara said in a text message.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto also vouched for Romulo-Puyat's clean record in government.

I have known Secretary Berna and her family for a long time. She has done well in all her government postings. She has a clean record. She has good academic credentials and is very qualified to be the Secretary of Tourism, Recto said in a statement.

I look forward to working with her in developing our tourism industry. Good tourism policies will increase jobs and income for our people and will further sustain our growing economy, he added.

Romulo-Puyat was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday as the new tourism chief, following the resignation of Wanda Tulfo-Teo due to the controversies surrounding the PHP 60-million advertisement deal between the DOT and state-run People's Television Network Inc. (PTNI).

Prior to her appointment, Romulo-Puyat has been the Agriculture undersecretary for administration, agribusiness and marketing, and regional engagement since July 2017.

She also served as an undersecretary for special concerns at the DA during the Aquino administration.

During the Arroyo administration, Romulo-Puyat served as a consultant for the Presidential Management Staff. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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