Duterte swears in Puyat as tourism chief

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2018 02:25 AM | Updated as of May 15 2018 12:39 PM

President Duterte poses photos with newly-appointed Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat following the oath-taking ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on Monday. Joining Puyat are her parents Rosie and Alberto Romulo and the Tourism Secretary's daughter Maia. Toto Lozano, Malacanang Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday sworn in Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as the country’s tourism secretary.

Duterte tapped Puyat as his new tourism chief following the resignation of Wanda Teo, who got embroiled in a controversy involving a P60 million advertising deal between the tourism department and state-run news channel PTV-4.

According to a Palace press release, Puyat was joined by her daughter and parents during the oath-taking, which was off-limits to the media.

After the ceremony, Duterte hosted a dinner for Puyat, her family and several guests at Malacañang’s President’s Hall.

Prior to her appointment as tourism secretary, Puyat had been working at the agriculture department since the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Puyat, daughter of former Senator and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, earlier said the President appointed her “because he said that I've been in the DA for so long, 12 years already, a[nd] there's no trace of corruption.”

As the new head of the DOT, Puyat said she plans to focus on culinary tourism and continue farm tourism.

She previously worked with the tourism department during previous administrations for the Madrid Fusion Manila, a gastronomy congress.