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‘Wag nang patagalin pa! Berna Romulo Puyat asks Cesar Montano to resign by Monday

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Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat has asked Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Cesar Montano to resign by Monday (May 21), Politiko has learned.

According to a well placed source, Puyat will fire Montano if he doesn’t hand over his resignation by the stated deadline.

The Tourism chief was emboldened to let Montano go because President Rodrigo Duterte gave her a free hand to fire officials under her supervision if she sees fit.

Puyat earlier told undersecretaries and assistant secretaries of the Department of Tourism (DOT) to tender their courtesy resignations so she could manage the agency with a clean slate.

Montano has come under fire over the TPB’s P80-million payment to the organizer of “Buhay Carinderia,” a project which will feature street food and roadside eateries.

Marylindbert International, the project proponent, received the payment even before “Buhay Carinderia” started. This goes against the usual practice of paying organizers in tranches, with the final installment being given after the project ends.

Politiko also reported that Montano rushed his speech at an event sponsored by the TPB and DOT in New York so he could watch a musical.

The actor did not deny making his speech short to leave the event, saying in a radio interview that people were not at the dinner to hear him speak.

Aside from the questionable payments to “Buhay Carinderia,” TPB is also facing scrutiny for shelling out P3 million for a fun run that turned out to be a flop and P15 million for a boxing-related event.

Puyat has suspended all of TPB’s projects for the year pending the Commission on Audit’s review.

See Related Stories: 

Cesar Montano says Wanda Teo pushed for paying P80M to ‘Buhay Carinderia:’ Kaibigan niya ‘yung organizer, tumutulong lang ako

LOOK: Sarap ng Buhay Carinderia! Wanda Teo, Cesar Montano sign checks worth P80M for Marylindbert Int’l

Todo bigay ang acting! Cesar Montano says ‘hallelujah’ if he’s booted out of TPB but won’t resign

Pinerahan ang TPB! Cesar Montano spends P18M on flop fun run, boxing