COA rubs conflict of interest in Teo’s face: What did Ben Tulfo do to deserve 75% cut in DOT-PTV ad scandal?
The Commission on Audit made it clear in its notice of disallowance that former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo committed a possible conflict of interest in connection with the a P120-million advertisement contract she approved with the People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI).
According to the Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) sent to Teo, the media plan of the contract with PTNI specified that 75 percent or P89,878,000 of the P120-million cost will be paid to Kilos Pronto, the program produced and hosted by her brother, broadcaster Ben Tulfo.
“The Memorandum of Agreementn between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI) and/or PTV shhowed a possible conflict between the DOT and PTV…,” a portion of the AOM to Teo, dated May 10, 2018, read.
The AOM means Teo has to return the P114 million disallowed by COA in connection with the deal by December.
COA’s examination of the MOA showed that DOT and PTNI agreed to place six-minute long segments from the DOT on “Kilos Pronto” on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
In addition, three-minute spots or six, 30-second spots featuring content from DOT will be added to the program daily.
The MOA was signed by Teo and PTNI General Manager/President Dino Apolonio.
The agreement was supposed to last for one year beginning March 16, 2017.
COA’s audit showed several other red flags, such as the payment of P45 million to “Kilos Pronto” despite the absence of supporting documents, and inconsisencies in the airing of ads.
“Further, the type of DOT segment and program to be aired in PTV was not specifically stated in the MOA and in the Media Plan,” it said.
The AOM to Teo also called the attention of Tourism Undersecretaries Katherine De Castro and Marco Bautista, Tourism Officer in Charge and Director for Financial Management and Services Gary Politico, and the agency’s chief accountant, Aida Soriano.
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