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Tourism chief suspends 'Buhay Carinderia' project

Tourism Chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Cesar Montano. Composite

MANILA- Tourism Chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Thursday said she ordered the suspension of the "Buhay Carinderia" project, one of the government's food tourism programs.

In a press briefing, Romulo-Puyat said the suspension comes in light of an assessment by the Commission on Audit on the project.

"I will wait for COA to reply but until then I will not proceed with the Buhay Carinderia," she told reporters.

Romulo-Puyat said she has spoken with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) chief Cesar Montano over his reported payment of P80 million in full for the said project even if the event has yet to be completed.

Montano, according to Romulo-Puyat, explained that the project passed the TPB board.

"Lahat naman daw ito dinaan niya sa board ng TPB. Sinabi naman daw lahat above board," she said.

(He passed all of this to the board of the TPB and it was said that all of this is above board.)

"I think he acted in good faith," she added.

More details to follow.

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