MANILA – Actor Cesar Montano on has formally resigned as the chief operating officer (COO) of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) amid allegations of corruption.
Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat confirmed to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that she received Montano’s courtesy resignation.
“Yes confirmed,” she said in a statement but clarified that she asked for the courtesy resignation of everybody.
Under the Tourism Act of 2009, the Tourism Congress is set to nominate a new COO in June. Whether he resigns or not, Romulo-Puyat earlier said Montano knows he is on holdover capacity and that the TPB would elect a new COO.
In a text message to the PNA, Romulo-Puyat added: “I would like to consider this matter closed– from my active involvement– but trust that the Commission on Audit (COA) will get to the bottom of this episode.”
Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go has also confirmed Montano’s resignation.
Go said that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has also accepted Montano’s resignation.
“Accepted na (The President has accepted his resignation),” Go said in a message sent to reporters.
The resignation came after Montano met Romulo-Puyat in a private meeting Wednesday night.
Following the meeting, Romulo-Puyat stopped all lined up events and projects of the TPB for 2018 and 2019, including the Buhay Carinderia-Redefined, pending a review.
The Tourism chief on the same day said she will leave the review to COA.
It was found out that the P320-million worth Buhay Carinderia-Redefined did not undergo a proper bidding but through sponsorship.
The P80 million first tranche of the project was already received by the Buhay Carinderia-Redefined proponent, Marylindbert International Inc.