P.6 B tourism ad contract: that’s all there is to it? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 June 2017 14:06

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… `What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?’…” (Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, in Matthew 16:26, the Holy Bible).

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WITH CANCELLATION OF P.6 B TOURISM AD CONTRACT, IS THAT ALL THERE IS TO IT? The press release is that, the Department of Tourism already cancelled its P650 million contract with ad agency McCann Erickson after the whole world is once again deriding the Philippines on its latest tourism campaign, which was confirmed to be a plagiarized version of a similar but earlier tourism campaign from a South African country.

But, should that be all there is to it? I mean, should the Filipino nation be already satisfied and be thankful with just the purported cancellation of the P650 million contract between the Department of Tourism and McCann Erickson that led to the 60-second video presentation entitled “Experience Philippines”?

Should all of us simply shrug our shoulders now, even if we have been collectively shamed, defamed, and demeaned, and are now being relentlessly subjected to international ridicule because we have shown we can shamelessly copy the intellectual work of other people, and even pay P650 million for such a mere plagiarized work?

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PLUNDER, CORRUPTION LAWS  MAY HAVE BEEN VIOLATED AD ROW: As Filipinos are won’t to say when things are not right or do not measure up to expectations, “ganun na lang ba yun”, or is that all there is to it? Well, if the Duterte government is going to say that, it would become a party to what could possibly be a plunder case at worst, or a multi-million peso graft case at best, on account of that botched tourism campaign.

Even a mere haphazard evaluation of what happened here will show that there could be here “taking undue advantage of official position, authority, relationship, connection or influence, to unjustly enrich himself or themselves, at the expense and to the damage and prejudice of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines”, as the existing plunder law says.

Then, the graft law could also be used to punish anyone involved in the cancelled tourism contract who are “causing undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions, through manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence.”

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MCCANN ERICKSON, ET. AL., MUST BE HELD LIABLE FOR BOTCHED TOURISM AD: The point is that, something has to be done to make sure this kind of a raw deal is no longer repeated in the future. As latest media accounts indicate, the “Experience Philippines” tourism campaign is already the third plagiarized tourism campaign of the Philippines. Evidently, this loophole, which possibly benefits handsomely some crooks, must have to be plugged.

One way of doing this is the chopping of the heads, as it were, of officials of the Department of Tourism who had a hand in entering into the P650 million contract with McCann Erickson. They should be fired, not allowed to resign, and then fiercely prosecuted until they are jailed.

McCann Erickson itself has to be held liable in presenting a plagiarized campaign from another nation, when it is clear that its contract with tourism officials was for it to come up with an original and credible campaign that would entice tourists to come here. As it were, McCann Erickson’s work not only shamed the Philippines, it will also surely drive away tourists to other destinations.

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WATCH “ANG TANGING DAAN” AT FACEBOOK: Please watch “Ang Tanging Daan”, a Bible exposition and prayer session for everyone, in English and Filipino, at  www.facebook.com/angtangingdaan.  Reactions: 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0977 805 9058. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.