PCOO exec confirms resignation, denies irregularities

By Jelly Musico

May 18, 2018, 7:52 pm

MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Noel Puyat on Friday confirmed his resignation but clarified his decision has nothing to do with the PHP647.11-million budget allegedly being questioned by the Commission on Audit (COA).

“It has nothing to do with my resignation,” said Puyat who submitted his letter dated May 1, to the Office of the President, eight days before a tabloid came out with the alleged COA report.

“I felt vindicated because COA confirmed in writing that they do not have any knowledge on any ongoing investigation of a PHP647.11-million fund,” he said in a separate interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Puyat, Undersecretary for Administration, said he had actually received six quarters of Notice of No Disallowance from COA from July 2016 to December 2017.

He even said the PCOO had in fact returned an estimated PHP600 million in unspent budget, on a stagered basis, from January to December 2017 to the Bureau of Treasury. It was part of the PHP1.4 billion budget allotted for ASEAN-Committee on Media Affairs and Strategic Communications (CMASC).

Since he informed PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar about his plan to resign two months ago, Puyat has already begun transferring most of his functions to his co-Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries.

He said his finance functions have been transferred to Undersecretary George Apacible, while his responsibilities as senior official responsible for information for ASEAN have been delegated to Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy.

“I promised Sec. Martin I’ll come on board as part of the transition team. It has been two years and I feel that we have achieved almost 80 percent of our initial goals to modernize and upgrade all government media outlets,” he said.

His decision to leave government service was upon the request of his father who requested for him to come back to working for the family business.

“It’s sad to leave but family first,” said Puyat who had actually served in different capacities over the last three administrations. (PNA)