FIVE top officials of Department of Tourism have tendered their courtesy resignations, Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
The resignations came a day after Romulo-Puyat signed a memorandum ordering all undersecretaries and assistant secretaries of the department to tender their unqualified courtesy resignations to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“So far five have resigned. After May 21, we are going to release their names,” she said in an ambush interview.
“In the exigency of service, and in order to give the undersigned a free hand to perform the mandate given to her by the President, all incumbent undersecretaries and assistant secretaries of this department are hereby directed to tender their unqualified courtesy resignations to the President,” she said in her memorandum.
Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre was the first one to resign.
“Because of unforeseen circumstances, I feel it necessary to tender this resignation because we all just definitely serve at the pleasure of the President,” he said. Alegre was appointed assistant secretary in September 2016.
Romulo-Puyat also said in a television interview that she will review the performance of all top tourism executives.
She, however, spared Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., a political appointee, from having to submit a courtesy resignation, citing his “long service at the department and proven competence.”
“He’s been with the DoT for 33 years. He’s a very professional guy. He’s very good,” Romulo-Puyat said.
She said she will bring with her Art Boncato, a former Tourism regional director during the term of then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.