December 14, 2017, 8:23 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07286 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2371 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03532 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34185 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02619 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03532 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03968 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.64127 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0329 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00748 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.73174 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0268 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13611 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06556 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27679 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20509 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 397.22221 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03964 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02545 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01965 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.01091 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13129 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.76786 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.15079 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.85774 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43159 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.50853 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12539 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95833 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.2829 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26354 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35337 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53936 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01684 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04169 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01486 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01487 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08926 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93552 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 178.63095 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14558 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.02202 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1549 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46552 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12694 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24167 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.29563 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.1865 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07009 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27806 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.49306 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 705.13886 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06944 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47282 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01405 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25091 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04067 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38333 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.98016 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.15476 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.85714 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.5879 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00599 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01627 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.64028 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.68253 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.98016 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0371 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48373 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26984 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06049 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01231 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02708 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18758 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34038 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.03175 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.00397 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.25754 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15954 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.97619 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.67083 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30893 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.20853 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37825 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08082 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26978 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.06349 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60937 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16524 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0454 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02854 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06416 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06375 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.16171 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07086 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.49603 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07223 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07805 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16704 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.57698 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0744 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15376 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26488 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13228 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16689 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02681 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01487 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.4406 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 151.38888 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.05159 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 412.7976 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17361 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.21786 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26978 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64663 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0499 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04555 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07593 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13154 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59567 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.30555 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53914 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.66666 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01984 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57401 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.53571 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19792 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 450.57538 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11786 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05142 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.04186 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05357 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.51528 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99881 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.95933 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26986 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.96627 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.18056 Zimbabwe dollar

Selling the Philippines

ACCORDING to the Philippine Statistics Authority, tourism contributed 8.6% to the total gross domestic product in 2016, roughly amounting to P1.234 billion. It has risen steadily since 2011, where it started at 6.8% and ended at 8.6% in 2015. Employment in tourism characteristic industries has also been enjoying an uptick, with 2016 figures estimated to be at around 5.2 million, accounting for 12.8% of the total employment in the country.

With these figures, it’s no wonder that selling the Philippines as a viable tourist destination is imperative to growing an economy. And this task falls not only on the Department of Tourism but also on other departments that have jurisdiction over factors that affect a tourist’s overall experience when they visit: peace and order, access to health facilities, transportation, and easy access to tourist spots and facilities. Whether we like it or not, citizens also play a substantial role in attracting tourists to the country; in the same way that we rely on foreign friends to give us recommendations and tips when it comes to visiting their home countries, tourists are more encouraged to visit when they see the enthusiasm of their Filipino friends about their homeland. 

Conversely, it is we the people who suffer, both directly and indirectly, when our country gets a bad rap internationally. Sure, the occasional side eye you get from your foreign friends and colleagues over unbelievable or bad news from home can’t exactly be categorized as suffering, but certainly, losing a job because the tourism industry is taking a hit certainly will hurt. 

The Department of Tourism knows this well, which is why it was quick to throw its new partner agency under the proverbial bus after its new TVC “Sights” was found to be distressingly similar to an existing campaign all the way from South Africa. DOT is already smarting from the travel advisories issued by the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries due to security-related issues such as the presence of the Abu Sayaff Group in Bohol and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Add to that the recent incident over at Resorts World, and you have a perfect storm of sorts for the folks over at DOT, who must all be tearing their hair out over convincing tourists to visit in such a state of affairs. 

Soon after its launch, netizens where quick to point out that its tagline, “Experience Philippines,” had already been used in other campaigns, most notably by India’s “Experience Bengal” campaign. Enterprising citizens were also quick to draw comparisons scene by scene of “Sights” to the South African TVC, which both contain an interesting twist: the storyteller is seen from the view point of a blind person. Both seek to sell an intangible: that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from visiting a place that makes you feel right at home, despite being thousands of miles away. 

Now, for the bad part. DOT’s quick and public severing of its relationship with McCann Worldwide, the agency that executed the TVC, is certain to give pause to reputable agencies out there who may be thinking of offering its services to help government. To begin with, government’s procurement process is like going through the eye of a needle. It is painful, slow, and filled with bureaucratic twists and turns unfathomable to those in the private sector. Getting paid is also an issue when it comes to dealing with government. I haven’t seen the contract that DOT signed with McCann, but for their sake, I hope it contains a clause for progress or partial payments for any work performed. 

The procurement process is a common complaint among businessmen, and the recent fallout from this incident won’t help move that observation in the right direction. Those more familiar with the creative and production processes in the advertising industry would know that McCann is not entirely to blame for the blow-up, considering that a client is involved in every step of the way, beginning from the approval of the creative brief to approving the final launch of the campaign. DOT’s statement on the issue certainly puts the blame entirely on McCann, with matching veiled threats about pursuing accountability. 

They would have us believe that one of the biggest advertising outfits in the country went rogue on the project. Either this is true or that whoever was in charge over at DOT completely neglected their duty in implementing a P650 million contract. You’d think that the new blood at DOT would have been mindful of past copycat issues raised against previous campaigns, but their behavior reveals that it had no impact whatsoever in terms of doing their due diligence for the project. Sure, while we can’t expect the DOT team to be aware of each and every tourism campaign launched all over the world, diligence dictates that they must have, at the very least, instructed the McCann team to do a check after they had signed off on the concept, even before the production of the TVC. 

I am hoping against hope that this incident doesn’t discourage other brilliant talent to work with government. Because if that happens, it is ultimately the Filipino people that will be getting the short end of the stick (again) when all that government will be left to work with are those who are after the pay check, backed by mediocre or worse, shady talent.

But it’s not all bad, thankfully. People have stepped up to the plate, with crowdsourced material sprouting from every corner of the internet, most notably the one from @CreativesofMNL on Twitter and Nas Daily on Facebook. If DOT team does not get its act together, I’m betting Filipinos will again take it upon themselves to contribute in their own ways to keep visitors coming. That despite all the chaos that is happening, we Filipinos love to laugh, love to eat, and that we love to show visitors why we all still love the Philippines, warts and all.
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