MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat on Tuesday, May 15, asked all undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to step down from their posts.
On her first day in office as the new chief of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Puyat issued a memorandum asking all incumbent undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to hand in their courtesy resignations to President Rodrigo Duterte beginning Tuesday up to next Monday, May 21.
The DOT has at least 10 undersecretaries and assistant secretaries. Career officials are exempt from the order.
BREAKING: Romulo-Puyat asks all incumbent DOT Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries to tender their unqualified courtesy resignations starting May 15 to May 21. Career officials are exempted from the order. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/Rg3eAV6EFq— Aika Rey (@reyaika) May 15, 2018
Puyat said the courtesy resignations will give her “a free hand” to fulfill her mandate.
“Because if you remember, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra asked for the courtesy resignations of all the undersecretaries, and I was also given [that] privilege…. So this afternoon, I also asked [for] the resignation of all the usecs and asecs,” she added.
“To be fair, meron naman may nagbigay na ng (there are some who already gave their) courtesy resignation. But [the memo] goes to all usecs and asecs.”
Duterte had appointed Puyat, a former agriculture undersecretary, after then Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo resigned. Teo stepped down after the Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the P60 million ($1.15 million) paid by the tourism department for ad placements on the show of Teo’s brothers, Ben and Erwin Tulfo.
Puyat was sworn in by the President on Monday, May 14. The new tourism chief said Duterte gave her strict orders to rid the agency of corruption. – Rappler.com