Press Release
July 6, 2023

SP Zubiri on the DOT Campaign Video Issue

With the Department of Tourism (DOT) rolling out a new tourism campaign--also with a brand-new slogan--we all should come together in support of the country and of our tourist destinations, which could be considered at par with other world-class attractions.

The DOT was criticized for the misleading inclusion of stock footage in the "Love the Philippines" campaign video, but let us also allow the Department to correct this misstep, reflect on what happened, and improve its campaign going forward.

The concerned ad agency has already owned up to its negligence and the DOT has already gone on record rightly taking responsibility for the controversy, and terminating the contract with the agency.

I believe that Secretary Frasco and the Department had no ill intent in this mishap, but I nevertheless expect them to take this incident very seriously, and hold accountable those who have wronged the Filipino people and the tourist spots that were replaced with alien places.

The harm to our reputation as a rising global tourism power should be repaired immediately, which should go beyond producing a correct version of the controversial promotional video.

The DOT leadership's call to stick with their new campaign slogan is duly noted, but this should not be the end-all of the corrective process.

I reiterate my call to all relevant agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Transportation, and the Health department to work closely with the DOT to improve our tourism infrastructures so that we can bring in to the country the much-needed billion tourism dollars.

The success of the "Love the Philippines" campaign will also live and die with the cooperation and collaboration of all government stakeholders so that our public transport, our connectivity, our health protocols, our logistics, and our people will be ready to deliver and accept the love our tourism deserves.

This is the meat of the daunting task that the DOT needs to focus on as it buckles down to work to address their shortcomings.

We need to support the DOT and our tourism stakeholders even more this time, as we need to infuse into our country the needed billions of dollars brought in by tourists from all over the world. And we should refrain from damaging further our image as a rising global tourist destination.

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