Tourism board to cut inventory accumulated since 2015

The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT), has started facilitating the distribution of promotional materials which had accumulated since 2015.

Tourism Promotions Board Philippines

This, after the Commission on Audit (COA) called out the TPB for overstocking tourism promotional materials and giveaways worth over P52 million in 2020.

In a statement on Tuesday, Aug. 24, the TPB vowed to ensure the “orderly distribution” of the materials as recommended by the state auditors.

The agency clarified that the inventory mentioned in the 2020 COA report, which accumulated since 2015, has been reduced to P35 million as of July 2021 after adopting an internal online system to track the distribution of the promotional materials in its inventory.

The TPB added that the bulk of promotional materials that were procured in 2020 during the pandemic includes health care kits for distribution to tourists and MICE delegates as part of the Safe Trip campaign.

However, the distribution of the materials was hampered by the recurrent border closures and travel restrictions caused by the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The matter of disallowances cited in the 2020 AAR pertains to a contract of advertising services worth P1.7 billion from 2012-2014 for the It's More Fun in the Philippines Media Plan, which was received by TPB on August 18, 2018,” the TPB explained.

“The Notice of Disallowance on the Financial Sponsorship for the Buhay Carinderia Project in 2018 amounting to P80 million was received by TPB on September 7, 2020. The TPB has timely served the Notices of Disallowances to the concerned individuals for purposes of appeal to COA,” it added.

The marketing arm of the DOT, the TPB’s task is to procure and distribute promotional materials to position the Philippines as a premiere tourism destination in international and domestic travel and tourism events.

Meanwhile, the TPB added that it has revamped the process for the requisition of promotional materials to take into consideration the limit of production and stock levels only up to a maximum of the “normal three-month” requirements as indicated in the COA Circular No. 88-55-A.