Frasco takes vacation after ‘Love’ fiasco | Inquirer News
DOT: Break not linked to ad mess

Frasco takes vacation after ‘Love’ fiasco

05:25 AM July 12, 2023

Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco takes vacation after ‘Love’ fiasco.


Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco will be taking a break from her duties to “spend time with her young family” following fallout over the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) use of stock footage from other countries in a promotional video.

The tourism chief’s vacation is from July 13 to July 21, according to the DOT’s Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy.


“The purpose of the short leave, consisting of only seven working days, is to spend time with her young family,” the office told reporters on Tuesday.


The department insisted that Frasco’s leave had nothing to do with the controversy over the DOT’s promotional video for its new “Love the Philippines” campaign that had used clips of tourist spots in Thailand, Indonesia, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

“Any insinuation to the contrary is false,” the DOT said.

On July 2, the advertising agency DDB Group Philippines accepted blame for the video blunder that had grabbed international headlines, apologizing to the DOT and the public. But the tourism department announced the next day that it was terminating its P49-million contract with the firm.

Some news outfits reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that Frasco was going abroad with her family, including her husband, Cebu Rep. Duke Frasco, but neither Frasco nor the DOT confirmed this.

The Inquirer reached out to Frasco to ask for details about her leave but there was no reply at press time.

Leave filed in May

The department told reporters that Frasco submitted her leave request to the Office of the President as early as May 9, ahead of the launch of the new campaign.


Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria Garafil on Tuesday confirmed that Frasco filed her leave of absence on that day.

Garafil said the Office of the President approved her leave on May 23.

Frasco is expected to report back to work in time for President Marcos’ second State of the Nation Address on July 24.

Reached for comment, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said Frasco’s decision to go on leave should not affect any investigation that Congress may conduct on the DOT tourism campaign mess.

“DOT has undersecretaries who can represent the department in the hearings, especially the officer in charge during her leave,” Pimentel told the Inquirer.

Frasco still has President’s trust

The President has said he continues to trust Frasco despite the promo debacle.

In three public events this month, the DOT chief, a daughter of Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, had dodged questions from reporters about the fiasco.

On July 5, on the sidelines of the 2022 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts and Tourism Statistics Dissemination Forum, Frasco briefly told reporters, “I think that is evident,” when asked if the DOT would be keeping the new tourism slogan.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who has criticized the tourism campaign for not including Albay’s Mayon Volcano in the promotional video, declined to comment on Frasco’s leave.

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He earlier said he would not ask for her resignation as she appeared open to recommendations about the tourism campaign.

TAGS: Christina Frasco, Department of Tourism, I Love the Philippines

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