MANILA - Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre resigned on Tuesday after Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she wants some tourism officials to hand in courtesy resignations.
Alegre, in a letter addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte, said his resignation comes as a result of "recent events" at the Department of Tourism (DOT).
"I would be honored to give you and the new DOT Secretary, Berna Romulo-Puyat, a free hand to determine who would be allowed to continue to serve in the said department," he said.
"...I feel it is necessary to tender this courtesy resignation because we all just definitely serve at the pleasure of the President," he added.
Puyat, in an earlier interview with ANC, said she wants some tourism officials to hand in their courtesy resignations noting that Duterte has given her a free hand in choosing officials of the tourism department.
"The President told me I have a free hand in choosing who I want to [appoint] as Usecs (undersecretaries) and Asecs (assistant secretaries)," Puyat said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.
"Maybe I don't need to ask, maybe they'll (tourism officials) do it [on] their own," Puyat said when asked if she would fire sitting officials to give way to her new appointees.
Puyat took over the leadership of the DOT after her predecessor Wanda Teo resigned after she figured in a P60-million advertising issue.
Teo vacated her post weeks after the Commission on Audit said P60 million in DOT advertising funds were given to a program produced and hosted by her brothers.