Puyat suspends P80-M tourism contract, orders bidding for all projects


TOURISM Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced on Thursday the suspension of a controversial P80 million project that failed to go through public bidding and ordered that all projects under her term would be subject to proper procedures to arrest fears of corruption.

At the same time, Puyat said she talked to Tourism Promotion Board Chief Cesar Montano on Wednesday night about “Buhay Carinderia” and was told that he was following a practice where projects under the board were not bid out.

In a live radio interview, Puyat also quoted Montano as saying that he acted “in good faith” when he approved the project that sought to promote Filipino food.

Puyat said she would review the contract of “Buhay Carinderia” to determine whether there was no anomaly committed.

She said that Montano, whose term ends in June, indicated a willingness to be investigated.

Montano returned to the Philippines from New York where he delivered a speech before the Filipino community there. The visit was controversial, as well, after Montano cut his talk short to watch a play.

Puyat, who was an Agriculture undersecretary, assumed office on May 15 after predecessor Wanda Tulfo-Teo resigned over a questionable P60 million advertising contract that involved her brothers’ Ben and Erwin Tulfo. DEO BANIDA


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