COA cites 'possible conflict of interest' in DOT deal with Tulfo brother

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 12 2018 10:39 AM | Updated as of Jul 12 2018 11:22 AM

MANILA -- State auditors said there was a "possible conflict of interest" when the Department of Tourism, under former secretary, Wanda Teo, contracted a company owned by her brother for a television campaign.

The Commission said P89.9 million of the P120 million budget was allotted to Kilos Pronto, a show produced by Bitag Media Unlimited, which is owned by TV host Ben Tulfo.

"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," the COA said in a report released on Wednesday.

Screengrab from the COA report.

The DOT received the COA report on June 29, according to a document on the state auditors' website.

Teo resigned in May after the COA questioned her department's deal with Bitag Media. 

She said there was no conflict of interest and her brothers said they would return the P60 million in ad placements.

Screengrab from the COA report.

The COA in the most recent report, also flagged the agency's Bids and Awards Committee for not requesting quotations from other TV networks considering the scale of the promotions deal.

In its reply, the DOT said the committee was able to verify the "reasonableness" and economic value of airing the spots on state-run PTV.