WHAT WENT BEFORE: DOT ads in ‘Kilos Pronto’ TV show
The Commission on Audit (COA) reported in April that the Department of Tourism, under then Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, had paid P60 million for ads in “Kilos Pronto,” a public service program on state-run PTV 4 produced by Bitag Media Unlimited Inc., a company owned by her brother Ben Tulfo, who also cohosts the program with his brother Erwin.
The COA said the payment was made in 2017 without a memorandum of agreement or contract showing the deal was valid.
According to the state audit agency, PTV 4 made the following payments by check to Bitag: P22,089,560 on May 11, 2017; P18.96 million on Nov. 8, 2017; and P18.96 million on Dec. 15, 2017.
Without a contract spelling out terms and conditions, “there was also no basis for the computations on how the . . . three payments were arrived at,” the COA said.
Amid demands for Teo to resign, Bitag said it would return the P60 million to the government.
On May 8, Teo resigned. Despite her decision, the Office of the Ombudsman said Teo would be investigated for possible violation of the graft law.
On June 5, the COA issued a “notice of disallowance” for the payment, which meant that Bitag must return the P60 million to the government.
In July, the COA uncovered P2.5 billion in questionable transactions by the DOT under Teo and said the resigned tourism secretary was possibly liable for graft.
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