The welter of shocking news these past days—the brutal murder of two town mayors in two days, the inflation spike of 5.2 percent (highest in five years), and the “basketbrawl” between Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian team—has virtually buried the 2017 Commission on Audit (COA) report which noted irregularities in the dealings of resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo with Duty Free Philippines Corp. (DFPC).
The report revealed that Teo had pulled out P2.52 million worth of items from Duty Free stores, using the tourism department’s share in DFPC’s annual net profits. As an agency under the Department of Tourism (DOT), DFPC was obliged to share its profits with the department for its many projects.
The goods included P2.17 million worth of luxury cosmetics, branded bags, chocolates, canned goods, appliances, kitchenware, beddings and toiletries, as well as 277 items worth an additional P346,446.80, that were brought out from the DFPC without being recorded in the government corporation’s books. The goods, according to the DOT request, were to be used for sponsorships and as corporate giveaways.
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