Bernadette Fatima Tecson Romulo-Puyat (born May 14, 1971) is a Filipino government official, economist, and academic who served as the Secretary of Tourism under the Duterte administration from May 2018 to June 2022, heading the Philippines' Tourism industry through the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. She has since been appointed Deputy Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in charge of financial inclusion, regional operations, and the BSP's Program Management Office. Her previous positions include terms as a consultant for the Presidential Management Staff, Undersecretary for the Department of Agriculture, and lecturer at the UP School of Economics.
|Deputy Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas|
|Assumed office |
June 6, 2022
|Secretary of Tourism|
May 11, 2018 – June 30, 2022
|Preceded by||Wanda Tulfo Teo|
|Succeeded by||Christina Frasco|
Bernadette Fatima Romulo
May 14, 1971
Quezon City, Philippines
|Relations||Carlos P. Romulo|
|Parent(s)||Alberto Romulo and Lovely Tecson|
|Alma mater||University of the Philippines (B.S. Ec)|
Early life and educationEdit
Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is the fourth amongst the five children of Filipino politician and diplomat, Alberto Romulo and Lovely Tecson. She attended the University of the Philippines Diliman and pursued an undergraduate and a master's degree in economics. She once aspired to become like her mother but later on, considering her exposure and familiarity to politics at early age, she ended up joining the Philippine political scene.
Romulo-Puyat was an instructor at the UP School of Economics. After being in the academe, she joined politics in 2004 by attempting to become the First District Representative of Quezon City. However, she lost the elections to Vincent Crisologo by 2,000 votes with Puyat readily conceding Crisologo's victory and deciding to thereafter spend more time with her family instead. Her brief political experience made her more aware of the conditions of the people affected by poverty, as a result, she put up "Botika ng Bayan" (People's Pharmacy) across some areas in Metro Manila to provide affordable medicines or generic drugs.
As Presidential Management Staff consultantEdit
As Agriculture UndersecretaryEdit
Puyat became the Undersecretary for Special Concerns at the Department of Agriculture (DA) under the former Secretary Arthur Yap. She ensured that foreign grants were directed accordingly to projects intended for farmers. She also focused on working with the agricultural concerns of women from the rural community that include financing technical support in provision of seedlings, planting materials, fermentation boxes and processing equipment for the Manobo women farmers, promotion and marketing of agricultural products for the coffee farmers across Kalinga, Bukidnon and Mt. Kanlaon; and pili, cacao and cassava farmers across Camarines Sur. She also took part in the establishment of an organic village for indigenous women farmers in Davao.
As Tourism SecretaryEdit
Following the resignation of Wanda Teo due to her alleged involvement with issues surrounding a ₱60 million tourism advertisement placement on People's Television Network (PTV), Bernadette Romulo-Puyat was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as Secretary of the Department of Tourism on May 11, 2018. Romulo-Puyat announced her plan to give farm tourism a focus and also made review on the Philippines' possible hosting of the Miss Universe 2018 pageant which her predecessor was involved in. Romulo-Puyat dropped the Philippines' hosting bid due to budgetary concerns.
Within her first month as Tourism Secretary, Romulo-Puyat alleged that corruption is rampant in the DOT claiming the existence of schemes involving "hundred of millions" of funds within the government agency. She ordered the suspension of all projects of the DOT pending review from the Commission on Audit. She also directed all undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, including Cesar Montano and Kat de Castro, to submit their courtesy resignations except for undersecretary Bong Bengzon.
- Plaza, Marane A. "'Days of despair over': Berna Romulo-Puyat shares optimism in 2022 travel outlook". Philstar.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2021. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
- Manuel, Pilar (June 1, 2022). "Outgoing Tourism chief Puyat appointed as BSP deputy governor". Archived from the original on June 1, 2022.
- "Outgoing Tourism chief Puyat to join Bangko Sentral as Deputy Governor". ABS CBN News and Public Affairs.
- Arnaldo, Ma. Stella (March 20, 2015). "A woman for women". BusinessMirror. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- Coralles, Nestor (May 8, 2018). "Who is Bernadette Romulo-Puyat?". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- de Vera, Analou (May 9, 2018). "DOT chief Romulo-Puyat to focus on farm tourism". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- "No Miss Universe hosting for PH this year, says tourism chief". ABS-CBN News. May 18, 2018.
- Cabalza, Dexter (May 20, 2018). "It's 'shocking' – not fun – in DOT; corruption makes new chief weep". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- Uy, Jerald (May 16, 2018). "Tourism Chief asks for courtesy resignation of all DOT executives but reveals she will retain at least one undersecretary". CNN Philippines. Retrieved June 20, 2018.