Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Launch of "Pilipinas kay ganda" tourism slogan wastes P3.7 Million

Why hide the fact that P3.7 Million was wasted on the launching of the now scrapped embarrassment that was the "Pilipinas kay ganda" tourism slogan?  Is it because Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim and Usec. Vicente Romano III want to hide their accountability?

It all began as a very simple event. A launch invitation was sent, people went and the media did their job covering. But what began as a simple launch of a government project turned out to be another scratch in a the foible that seems to be the Aquino administration.
The Pilipinas Kay Ganda program is now officially on the backburner. What with all the criticism and foolishness attached to a project that seemed so innocent at first. Accusations have flown, apologies have been made, what can go further wrong one may ask?
Well this photo capture may say it all. After all, they did say they almost spent nothing on the foolish project. But here, we see a receipt that says P3.775,355 pesos and only for the launch itself. The other costs have not yet been computed by us or them.
So tell me Noy, is this you "Matuwid na Daan?" And where is the "daan" headed? Sa malalim na bangin?

What follows is my take:

The thing is, early on in the administration, the recently appointed NFA Chief Lito Banayo made a grand show of hundreds or thousands of sacks of rice wasting away in its warehouses and pinned the blame on former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.  Then he declared that there was a huge surplus in rice, only to back pedal months later and say that there was a shortage of rice, then calling traders to apply for importation permits.

Then, just recently, the Department of Tourism declares that the tourism slogan "Wow Philippines" is no longer effective, hence the need for a new one.  Then, even before it can be vetted or validated by the Tourism Congress (the private sector counterpart of the Tourism Department organized under the Tourism Act of 2009), the Tourism Department asks the advertising agency which supported Noynoy Aquino to come up with a new slogan.  The slogan, they claim, was a result of a four month study -- which must have started a couple of weeks before Noynoy Aquino took his oath of office and before he officially appointed Secretary Lim to his post.

Even more curious is the fact that the creation and launch of the slogan comes before the crafting of a 5 year  National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) which is mandated under the Tourism Act of 2009.  The NTDP will be the basis for all actions relating to the development of tourism for the next five years and because of this, the NTDP is the more substantial component of any tourism effort.

It is substantial because, for one, it will tell the entire tourism industry what the priorities are in terms of tourism.  Is it building up more air, sea, and land routes to various destinations?  Is it building more hotels? Is it building more man-made attractions? Is it training more tourist guides and tourism workers?  Is it developing a handful of new destinations?  Is it forging relationships that will benefit Philippine tourism?

The NTDP, more than a slogan, would be the better tool in defining the character of Philippine tourism in terms of actual, physical projects that will mold the foreign tourist's experience from the time they touchdown to the time they depart for home.

This is why promotions and advertising is SUBSUMED or MERELY A PART of the NTDP.  It is the NTDP that will dictate the parameters for any slogan or promotional effort.

At this point, the NTDP is still being bidded out and only after it has been awarded will the crafting of the NTDP begin.

In short, the creation of the new slogan was not only premature, IT WAS NOT EVEN MANDATED or REQUIRED at this point.

However, the creation of a slogan does not require any bidding at all -- apparently, if done pro-bono.  And by putting out the slogan first, it would then perhaps condition the field for whatever else is being bidded out to favor the bidder who NTDP bid fits the slogan -- AFTER THE BIDS HAD BEEN SUBMITTED.

Just imagine the DoT saying later that the winner of the NTDP won because their bid conformed most closely to their slogan, "Pilipinas, kay ganda".


Lydia said...

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Juzaq said...

ibalik na kasi ang WOW Philippines

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