June 23, 2017, 8:26 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07443 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.4017 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03628 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.32436 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02723 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03626 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04054 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63579 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03534 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00763 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.60377 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13904 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06579 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30624 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20692 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 405.75598 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04049 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02733 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.57175 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13799 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.59343 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.43535 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.98075 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47231 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.59951 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13357 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.95278 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19181 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.28109 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36583 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46433 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01797 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04244 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01572 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08685 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91021 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 182.75233 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1491 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.14512 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15784 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47422 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13229 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24625 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.54195 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.57844 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07211 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30521 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.93595 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 657.62059 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9771 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.6139 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01433 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23666 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0906 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38113 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 81.57681 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.12404 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.24078 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.6366 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00614 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01662 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.364 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 166.08836 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.51277 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.08877 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.84435 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25922 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06179 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01258 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02821 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19642 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36735 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.09972 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.52331 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.27726 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16258 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.25578 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.70024 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31394 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.54094 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37863 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08672 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2604 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52615 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59972 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17055 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08654 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02835 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00779 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06622 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06654 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0753 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 112.82935 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0738 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08196 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.14766 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.61897 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.076 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16004 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26836 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13498 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17451 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02797 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01573 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45006 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 152.00649 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08634 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 435.85326 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17678 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.43737 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26014 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6897 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04917 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04647 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0711 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61011 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 45.17633 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53223 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.78071 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57377 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 77.82732 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20216 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 459.54601 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18241 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05201 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.77483 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05472 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.82205 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.13174 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.06546 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25921 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 105.17835 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.33482 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.
Rating: 
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