In this Oct. 4, 2017 photo, Rey Joseph Nieto of Thinking Pinoy attends the Senate probe into fake news. STAR/Mong Pintolo, file

BCDA: 'Thinking Pinoy' blogger rejected consultancy contract
Rosette Adel ( - October 5, 2017 - 7:22am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bases Conversion and Development Authority on Thursday clarified that it offered a consultancy post to Thinking Pinoy publisher Rey Joseph Nieto but he turned down the offer.

The BCDA said it offered Nieto the post to use his social media expertise in spreading awareness of its projects such as the government's “Build Build Build” program, which has an P8.3-trillion target budget until 2020.

“In line with BCDA's communication strategy to promote awareness and generate support for our projects, especially the big ticket projects under the President's Build Build Build program, BCDA wanted to engage the services of Mr. Rey Joseph Nieto because of his huge following and tremendous reach on social media, especially with President Duterte's supporters,” BCDA said in a statement.

“However, Mr. Nieto informed us that he was no longer interested to be engaged by BCDA, thus no Notice to Proceed was given and Mr. Nieto did not receive any compensation from BCDA,” it added.  

The BCDA’s latest statement departs from a document indicating that the authority granted the contract to Nieto on August 17.

A screenshot of the BCDA Notice of Award document circulated on social media on early Thursday and indicated that Nieto would be awarded P30,000 for his consultancy services for a period of six months.

"We are pleased to inform you that the contract for consulting services as an individual consultant under the Office of the President and Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) of BCDA, where trust and confidence are the primary consideration, is hereby awarded to you at a contract price equivalent to Pesos: Thirty Thousand and 00/100 (P30,000), net of all applicable taxes, for a period of 6 months, renewable at the option of the PCEO, but in no case shall exceed his term," the letter read dated August 17 read.

The notice which has since been deleted was signed by BCDA Executive President Aileen Zosa and Nieto himself.

The document circulated online a day after Nieto at a Senate hearing on Wednesday said he is offering consultancy services to the DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs. He said he earns just P12,000 monthly for the part-time job, which, he said, is not enough to pay for his taxi rides.

He also claimed that the DFA needs him more than he needs the Foreign Affairs department.

READ: At Senate, blogger airs complaints about employer DFA

Netizens slammed him for not disclosing the supposed BCDA consultancy deal.

Nieto claims he only works for DFA

Prior to BCDA's statement, Nieto released his own statement denying that he has a consultancy contract with the authority.

He said he has contacted BCDA to issue a statement.

“I may have been offered a consultancy contract with BCDA, but I didn't fully agree to it, so there was no Notice to Proceed,” Nieto said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. 

“I have contacted BCDA earlier today so they can issue a statement supporting this claim, if necessary. Moreover, I enjoin everyone to take full advantage of the Executive Order on Freedom of Information to verify the information for themselves,” he added.

Nieto reiterated he is only working for DFA at the moment.

“My sole active consultancy contract is with the Department of Foreign Affairs, and for an amount of approximately P12,000 per month, for a total duration of 6 months,” Nieto said.

“Note that I have not posted my DFA consultancy contract online because I haven't received a final copy of it yet, and that to date, I have yet to receive any payment from DFA for my consultancy services,” he added.

The notice of award has been taken down from the BCDA website, but a screenshot of a cached version of the website shows the document used to be available online.

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