Bitag is a public service program hosted by Ben Tulfo and produced by Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. It has won awards such as Best Public Service Program and Best Public Service Program Host.
Back in 2017, the Department of Tourism through PTV-4, which is a government station, paid Bitag Media 60 million pesos for an advertisement deal that included airing of Department of Tourism (DOT) ads on Tulfo’s program Kilos Pronto.
The thing that is suspicious here is that Wanda Teo, Tulfo’s sister, was the DOT secretary at the time. This breach of ethics and the controversy that followed forced Teo to resign her position.
“Sa mga nagsasabing isauli ang pera at hinihintay daw ang 60-M, mamuti na mga mata n’yo! Wala kaming isasauli!” said Tulfo a few years back.
But he also added that the reason they got paid is because they returned the money in service, and that is by airing ads.
“Malinis ho ang konsensya namin. Hindi ho kami nangungulimbat, hindi ho kami nagnanakaw ng pera sa gobyerno. Kung kami po ay binayaran, dahil po may serbisyong idinulot.”
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the DOJ is willing to help the OMB in investigating the deal, but that the DOJ doesn’t actually have the capability to recover the said amount.
“In any event, if the DOJ will be asked to help in the investigation, we are ready to act on our own and/or coordinate with the OMB.”
The Commission of Audit (COA) saw †the deal as suspicious last year and flagged it, which lead the OMB to start an investigation on it.
The audit body said that is is possible that Teo be held liable for graft.
“Should a graft case prosper and reach the Sandiganbayan, the recovery of the P60 million paid to Ben Tulfo’s company will be automatically part of that action,” Guevarra said.
TAGS: 60 million, Ben Tulfo, BITAG, Bitag Ben Tulfo, Bitag Media Unlimited Inc., Department of Tourism, Department of Tourism (DOT), DOT, graft, Kilos Pronto, Menardo Guevarra, PTV 4, tulfo, Wanda Teo
Former Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo defends herself from allegations that she misused the Department of Tourism (DOT) funds that were obtained from Duty Free Philippines Corporation.
In an episode of ANC’s Head Start on Wednesday, Teo was asked about the Commission on Audit’s (COA) report stating that the DOT had Php2 million worth of branded luxury items taken from the Duty Free stocks. She defended herself and denied it, saying that she can afford those items.
“This is for coporate accounts, hindi ako puwedeng magturo. I can afford.”
“Hindi ko type ang Coach bag. Puwede ba? That’s why ang sakit sakin. They were saying even the Rolex watch, I’ve been using Rolex watch from the start and there’s no Rolex watch at Duty Free.
“Are they selling watch? Do they have signature bags?”
Teo added that she feels insulted because of the allegations.
“Insulted because… oh my God I can afford because I go out of the country. I’ve been traveling a lot even before I was a secretary.” Teo said.
“Mayabang siguro sasabihin. Sasabihin siguro ng anak ko: ‘wag ka magyabang, Ma.’ But hindi ko type talaga.”
She also said that she did not sign any document indicating that she received the items. She explained that the items were given to clients who solicit from them.
She added that funds are from the shared earnings with the Tourism department.
It can be remembered that back in late June, the COA has released their 2017 annual audit report on Duty Free indicating that DOT should be billed for merchandise amounting to more than P2 million.
Broadcaster Ben Tulfo, the brother of former Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulf0-Teo, has said that his media company will not return the Php60 million that was paid for an advertisement deal with the government.
The people demanded that his company must give back the said money as the government auditors saw a possible violation of the anti-graft law.
Tulfo, the chief executive officer and founder of Bitag Media Unlimited, Inc. (BMUI) said on facebook dated July 26, that the company obtained the money with a legitimate contract between his Kilos Pronto program and the People’s Television (PTV), which is the government’s flagship television network.
He wrote, “Anong isasauli? Maninigil pa nga kami dahil may utang pa sa’min ang principal na PTV-4 dun sa kanilang kliyente, ang DOT. Kumpleto kami sa kontrata at mga dokumento. Legal ang ginawa namin. Nai-deliver at tinrabaho namin.”
The broadcaster added that he won’t return the money even if people’s eyes turn white. “Sa mga nagsasabing isauli ang pera at hinihintay daw ang 60-M, mamuti na mga mata niyo! Wala kaming isasauli! Sa mga nagsasabing ilegal at nangulimbat kami, e’di sampahan niyo kami ng kaso, tutal nandyan naman ang COA at Ombudsman!”
The issue started in April, when Commission on Audit (COA) released their 2017 report. It was found that Teo may possibly be liable for graft after PTV 4 paid Php60 million to BMUI to air DOT advertisements. It is said that “Considering that the DOT secretary and the producer of ‘Kilos Pronto’ are siblings, there is a possible conflict of interest, which may be a violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,”.
Teo’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio stated that the media firm will return the payment, however, Teo did quit as tourism chief right after the announcement.
Tired of travelling to far places – lining up to bus terminals and airports? Why not try going around Metro Manila instead? You just might find new spots and interesting activities to try out!
In an interview with Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary, Wanda Teo, she talked about emerging and wonderful tourists destinations in the streets of Metro Manila.
“There are, in fact, many activities for visitors of different itineraries in Metro Manila alone,” she said in the interview.
The DOT secretary urges that destinations in National Capital Region (NCR) should receive publicity as well and calls for help in the media to promote and feature stories to attract not just the foreign tourists but also the locals.
“We are banking on the media to tell stories that will attract not just the foreign tourists but also the locals,” said Teo.
To prove the beauty hidden in NCR, Teo headed the tour in the city of Malabon while onboard a tricycle, going around the city’s best-kept secrets.
Among these are the 404-year-old Bartolome church, Syjuco Heritage House, the art gallery of Angel Cacnio, Borja Mansion, and the Immaculate Concepcion Church.
“Malabon is a nice place, it’s different. It’s a place we should patronize. It’s a new destination. We’re finished with beaches. We should go to other destinations so they will be more known,” Teo said.
“This covers all from culture, faith, and culinary tourism. It covers everything,” Teo added.
The DOT Secretary also stressed the uniqueness of the tricycles as it cannot be found in other countries.
“The tricycle is very unique. There’s nothing like it anywhere else, that is why we should make an effort to promote this project,” she said, after taking the Malabon Tricycle Tour that offers trips to different churches and heritage houses within the city.
The Malabon Tricycle Tours offer three different packages: the Heritage Tour priced as PHP 250 per person, the Food Trip Special Tour at PHP 750 each, and the combined food and heritage tour at PHP 900 per person.
Teo also added how it “can help local communities by giving jobs to tricycle drivers. Nowhere in the world can you find tricycles except in the Philippines. So we’re going to promote this.”
Furthermore, the Malabon city Mayor, Antolin Oreta III, spearheaded the Malabon “Lugaw Xperience” for Teo and the media, highlighting their special chicken arroz caldo, the popular Pancit Malabon, and delicacies such as puto and kakanin.
In addition to this, Oreta emphasized how Malabon is an “all-in-one city” saying,
“We have historical sites, food, and culture. We are thankful the Secretary visited us in Malabon City, which we call all-in-one destination”.
So if you’re planning where to travel next, you might want to try taking a tricycle to take you to the hidden beautiful spots around Malabon!
What do you think, travel bugs? (Photos grabbed from Department of Tourism Facebook page)
In a report by the ABS-CBN News Online, Philippines has been offered the hosting rights to Miss Universe again, this time for Miss U 2017. Set to happen in November, Wanda Teo, the Department of Tourism chair revealed,
“Pinagaaralan pa namin iyan pero that’s true, they are asking us to host it again this year.”
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Mario Dumaual, Teo said that members of the Miss Universe Organization were impressed with 2016’s pageant. They also claimed that the event overshadowed the pre-events of the recently-concluded Super Bowl, the biggest sports event in the USA.
“Usually, number one iyan [Super Bowl] pero trending pa rin ang Miss Universe. So they really want it badly here in the Philippines,” she added.
When asked if they have already accepted the offer, Teo firmly suggested that her department should have more control over the event once it has pushed through. In addition to this, she wants to look for sponsors to shoulder the expenses.
After Iris Mittenaere‘s win in Miss Universe 2016 this January, great reviews and critiques were received by the hosting country, which is the Philippines.
In relation to the country’s benefits in the pageant, Teo is proud to say that it actually gave our local tourism industry a ‘major boost’.
“Our islands, food, and the biggest smiles of our people are all over the news and social media these past few weeks. The world now knows how beautiful our islands are, how delectable our cuisines are, and how friendly and warm Filipinos are — just ask the Miss Universe candidates themselves,” she says.
While waiting for the final decision, let’s just support our flagship in this year’s Miss Universe, Rachel Peters. The pageant is scheduled to take place in November,
TAGS: Beauty pageant, DOT Chair Looks Forward To Miss U 2017 in the Philippines, Miss Universe, Miss Universe 2016, Miss Universe 2017, Miss Universe 2017 in the Philippines, Philippines, Philippines Is Being Eyed To Host Miss Universe 2017, Philippines Is Eyed To Host Miss Universe 2017, Philippines to host Miss Universe back to back, Wanda Teo