Renowned action star Cesar Montano has officially resigned from his post as head of a unit under the Department of Tourism (DOT), following the controversies surrounding the P80-million “Buhay Carinderia” project.
According to Special Assistant to the President Sec. Christopher “Bong” Go, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte has accepted the courtesy resignation of Montano, who has been the chief operating officer of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) since December 2016.
Merely days after the appointment of Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat at the DOT, reports of Montano’s disbursements for the culinary tourism project made rounds on news publications after the latter allegedly paid millions of pesos to suppliers and partners despite the fact that the activity is not yet in full swing.
However, Puyat said via media interviews that she believes, though she maintains that it is still improper, that Montano did his actions in good faith, especially that he consulted with his legal team first before proceeding with the payments knowing that disbursements without undergoing the usual bidding process have already been a practice in the board even before his term.
Formerly known as the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation, the TPB is a corporate body tasked to plan and implement integrated local and international promotions for the DOT.
It serves as the marketing arm of the tourism department, particularly in projecting an image that the Philippines is a good venue for major conventions, expositions, and fairs.