Fact Check: Did Cesar Montano make “costly and unnecessary trips” during his seat as TPB's COO?

Fact Check: Did Cesar Montano make “costly and unnecessary trips” during his seat as TPB's COO?

- In the reports today, Commission on Audit (COA) reportedly said that the resigned Tourism Promotions Board Chief Operating officer Cesar Montano made "excessive travels"

- According to auditors, the trips made by Montano were "costly and unnecessary" as he apparently brought along his two assistants in most of his travels

- COA reportedly added that "non-related personnel" also got to travel to tourism events

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As reported by news outlets such as CNN, Rappler, ABS-CBN, GMA News, and others, Cesar Montano was out of the country 14 times last year, 2017, 91 days of 365 days, which apparently equivalent to almost 25% of the year, according to Commission on Audit (COA).

With this, KAMI found out that the said trips "incurred expenses deemed" to be "excessive and extravagant," as COA described it.

The Commission on Audit apparently revealed that in its 2017 audit report of the TPB, when Montano was supposedly the chief operating officer, 2.276 million pesos were reportedly spent for himself alone during his travel to Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America of the said year.

The report continued that Montano reportedly flew to the countries of Russia, Canada, and the United States on a business class that supposedly totaled to 594,000 pesos worth of tickets.

This reported expense of supposed business class trips was "contrary to executive orders," and that is, requiring officials to "travel on the economy only unless authorized by the President," as the report continues.

Moreover, COA apparently added that TPB reportedly spent another 2.995 million pesos on Montano's travels because the agency reportedly paid for the expenses of his [Montano] private secretary and executive assistant whom he supposedly "brought along in 11 of his travels," as reported.

The Officer-in-Charge(OIC) Deputy for International Promotions reportedly also "incurred 1.957 million pesos for 16 travels to Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America."

For that, State auditors reportedly considered these travel expenses as "excessive and extravagant" as apparently defined by audit rules, the report continues.

The Commission on Audit said:

"The TPB should find ways to minimize the cost and optimize the performance of duties of its officers and employees for an effective and efficient organization."

And it looks like it doesn't stop there, as there are other issues COA apparently claimed and raised involving the former TPB COO.

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Source: KAMI.com.gh

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