TPB 'guarantees transparency' after Cesar Montano's resignation
MANILA, Philippines – The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) on Tuesday, May 21, said they "guarantee" transparency, following the resignation of chief operating officer Cesar Montano.
"The TPB extends its support to the direction of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, guaranteeing transparency in all of its dealings," the TPB management said in a statement on Tuesday.
Montano resigned as the head of the TPB, after allegations of corruption were hurled at him over an P80-million sponsorship deal for the food tourism project "Buhay Carinderia" with Mary Lindbert International Incorporated.
Montano said the project was "endorsed" by then-tourism secretary Wanda Teo. (READ: 'Buhay Carinderia' gets P80M in a month under Cesar Montano)
The TPB said that providing financial sponsorships is part of its mandate to provide support to tourism stakeholders who are "expected to contribute significant returns" that will promote the country.
"Since its inception, the TPB is committed to its responsibility in prudently utilizing and safeguarding the funds entrusted to the agency," it said.
"Amidst the current controversies, the TPB remains a professional organization that works relentlessly in promoting the Philippines domestically and internationally," it added.
Puyat is yet to designate an officer-in-charge, following Montano's resignation.
Back in March 2017, TPB employees also filed a complaint against Montano for allegedly "mismanaging" the board. They accused him of misusing funds and approving contracts for events where he himself performed. (READ: Cesar Montano says he's not affected by mismanagement issues in TPB)
Apart from the corruption allegations, Montano also hired a P1-consultant who "practically runs" the TPB, interferes with the approval of agency-funded deals, and gives orders to employees. (READ: Who is Ronnie Albao of the Tourism Promotions Board?)
Montano was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the TPB in December 2016. The President formally accepted Montano's resignation on Monday, May 21. – Rappler.com