DOT refutes COA report on irregularities
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Tourism (DOT) has submitted documents in response to the alleged irregularities uncovered by the Commission on Audit (COA) regarding the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign.

“The DOT and TPB (Tourism Promotions Board) have submitted documents requested by the COA supporting both agencies’ belief that all actions taken in the development and implementation of our multi-awarded campaign are all in accordance with the requirements of the law and other government rules and regulations,” DOT Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato Jr. said in a text message.

“These are COA observations that are being responded to by the DOT and TPB,” he added.

Earlier reports showed COA uncovered alleged irregularities amounting to P1.2 billion on the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” tourism promotion campaign of the department.

The COA report threatened to disallow audit expenses amounting to P999.78 million unless DOT and TPB can justify their failure to follow procurement rules and regulations.

Based on records, DOT and TPB in 2012 entered into an advertising services contract worth P199.95 million with an advertising consultant to undertake the production of creative materials necessary for the implementation of the media plan for use in the branding campaign.

The contract was renewed for P400 million in January 2013 and extended in October 2013 for P599.78 million.

State auditors said “entering into a multi-year contract with the extension of contract time that involved additional cost as well as the consideration of a monthly ABC (approved budget contract) is contrary to Republic Act 9184 and its IRR (implementing rules and regulations), especially the necessity of a public bidding.”

ACIRC ASSISTANT SECRETARY ARTURO BONCATO JR. CAMPAIGN COA CONTRACT DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM DOT MILLION MORE FUN REPUBLIC ACT TOURISM PROMOTIONS BOARD
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