Press Release
May 7, 2018


Better late than never.

Senator Nancy Binay today welcomed the decision of Bitag Multimedia to return P60-million advertisement deal with PTV-4 and the Department of Tourism, but filed a resolution investigating the advertising deal between the agencies.

"We welcome the gesture of good faith by Bitag to return the P60 million TV ad payment back to the government. Nonetheless, the DOT and PTV-4 need to clarify some issues with regard how commercials are placed, and the terms of reference covering such agreements," Binay said.

Binay has filed a resolution to look into how the tourism department spends its budget in advertising and marketing.

"Siguro kailangan natin alamin kung paano nila nira-rationalize ang local advertising placements and if they are congruent with the strategic marketing and media plans of the department," she noted.

In its report posted online on April 27, the Commission on Audit (COA) detailed that the state-run television network made the following payments last year to Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. (BMUI): P22,089,560 on May 11; P18.96 million on November 8; and P18.96 million on December 15.

"Perhaps the DOT can shed light on the advertising deal the tourism department entered into with PTNI following COA's findings," said Binay, who heads the Senate committee on tourism.

There were reports that the deal to air DOT's TV commercials over PTV4 advertisements lacked a Memorandum of Agreement, Certificate of Performance, duly-approved budget utilization request, and billing statements.

"Due to limited budget and resources, kailangang maging responsable at maingat tayo sa paggastos ng bawat piso. Hindi pi biro ang budget na binibigay natin para pagandahin ang imahe ng Pilipinas at maghikayat ng maraming turista," Binay said.

According to Binay, advertising strategies are crafted addressing a pre-constituted audience to attracting new customers.

"We also need to know if there are measurable results to the local placements made by DOT and how are these different from the placements of the Tourism Promotions Board," she added.

For 2018, the DOT has P1 billion budget for branding, while the TPB also has its own.

"Sa darating na Agosto ay sisimulan na ulit naming na pag-usapan ang national budget para sa susunod na taon, mahalagang malaman ng Senado kung paano ginugugol ng DOT pondo nila upang matulungan kami sa aming magiging desisyon sa kanilang magiging budget," the senator added.

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