By Hannah Torregoza
Despite the decision of Bitag Media to return the P60-million advertisement deal it had with PTV-4 and the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Senate’s investigation into the agency’s advertising and marketing agreements will push through.
“(It’s) better late than never,” Binay said saying she has filed a resolution investigating how the DOT spends its budget in advertising and marketing.
“We welcome the gesture of good faith by Bitag to return the P60-million TV advertising payment back to the government,” she said.
“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 stressed.
The senator said the Senate has to look into how the DOT rationalizes local advertising placements and if they are congruent with the strategic marketing and media plans of the department.
Binay, head of the Senate committee on tourism, noted that in the Commission on Audit (COA) report posted online on April 27, the state-run television network paid Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. (BMUI) P22,089,560 on May 11, 2017; P18.96-million on Nov. 8, 2017; and P18.96-million on Dec. 15, 2017.
“Perhaps the DOT can shed light on the advertising deal the tourism department entered into with PTNI following COA’s findings,” she said.
She said 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, we need to be responsible and careful in spending. Allocating a budget to boost the Philippine’s image to foreign and local tourists is no joke,” she 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 (TPB),” she stressed.