DOT to ‘review and revisit’ its existing guidelines on foreign travels of its officials and personnel

Published July 13, 2018, 7:28 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Analou De Vera

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said that it will “review and revisit” its existing guidelines on foreign travels of its officials and personnel after the agency was cited by the Commission on Audit on its “excessive and extravagant” trips abroad.

DOT logo“While the Department of Tourism (DOT) reiterates that all travels were official in nature and have adhered to government procedures, it assures the Commission on Audit (COA) that it will review and revisit the agency’s existing guidelines on the foreign travels of its officials and personnel issued January 2018,” the tourism department said in a statement.

The DOT added that if necessary, it will come up “with a more stringent version while staying true to its mandate of creating a favorable image of the Philippines within the international community and promoting a positive global view of the country.”

The state auditors have recently found irregularities in the DOT’s P2 billion worth of transactions in 2017, which was then under former Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo.

The COA stated that the department had spent P19 million for its officials’ travel allowances abroad.

In May, Teo resigned from her post amid the controversial P60-million advertising deal between the department and state-run People’s Television Network, which also involves her two brothers.

Previously, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo- Puyat has vowed to stop graft and corrupt practices in the department by reviewing all the agency’s transactions, citing that it was the marching order she had received from the President.