Tourism chief Puyat to suspend “Buhay Carinderia” program, other DOT projects that did not undergo bidding

(Eagle News)– Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Thursday, May 18, said she would suspend the conduct of the “Buhay Carinderia” project of the Tourism Promotions Board, and other projects that did not undergo any bidding.

In a press conference, she said that she has asked TPB Cesar Montano, whom she met on Wednesday evening, to submit to her a list of all projects.

She said she has already written the  Commission on Audit for it to review the “Buhay Carinderia” project, and all DOT projects.

While she believes TPB chief Cesar Montano acted “in good faith,” she was “not comfortable” that P320 million was used to sponsor the “Buhay Carinderia” project without any bidding.

“Ang comfortable ako, pag walang bidding, stop. Stop all the projects..I don’t know what the total projects are..,” she said.

“You follow the law. Bakit pa tayo magkakabatas kung papalusutin lang natin diba?” she added.

She said she has already written the Commission on Audit to look into the project and the others.

“Let’s leave it to COA,” she said.

According to Puyat, Montano also defended himself from criticisms he spoke for only two minutes at an event in New York.

According to him, Puyat said, he had already stayed for a long time in the event.

“Tapos nu’ng nagsalita siya, feeling niya medyo bored na raw ‘yung audience,” Puyat said in an interview over dzbb.

Earlier, Philippine Star columnist Boo Chanco claimed Montano gave a full P80-million payment to a certain Linda Legaspi for the program, a food tourism project, even before it was completed.