Pushing for “Sustainable and Responsible Tourism” Department of Tourism Secretary Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat started her journey with the government as a consultant at the Presidential Management Staff in 2005.
She was with the Department of Agriculture (DA) for almost 12 years. During her time with DA, Ms. Puyat spent a lot of time with rural women beneficiaries. Inspired with their situation, she helped implement microfinance programs; provided technical support and farming implements to Manobo women farmers; undertook product promotion and market linkage support for coffee farmers in Kalinga, Bukidnon and Mt. Kanlaon and for the pili, cacao, and cassava farmers in Camarines Sur. To add to this, she established an organic village for indigenous women farmers in Davao; and provided production and technical support for organic farmers in Bukidnon.
Currently, she is the Chairperson of the following committees: Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA); Tourism Promotions Board (TPB); Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC); National Parks Development Committee (NPDC); Intramuros Administration (IA); Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA).
Armed with her passion for countryside development, Ms. Puyat aims to pursue the implementation of RA 10816 known as the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016 to preserve farms, increase revenue streams to the countryside, create new markets, and increase arrivals.
A self-confessed foodie, she is also an advocate of gender and development; marketing agriculture products; and food, farmers, and farming. She led PeopleAsia’s “Women of Style & Substance” 2018 awardees.
Ms. Puyat finished her BS in Economics, Cum Laude and her Master’s Degree in Economics at the University of the Philippines.