Philippines Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo Resigns

Philippines, Wanda Teo, Department of Tourism

Happier days for Wanda Teo Corazon with Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte...

Embattled in a couple of stories on corruption and nepotism, DOT Secretary Wanda Teo Corazon handed over her resignation letter yesterday. The secretary was embattled into a couple of stories related to corruption.

She has been the point of critics since she took over the position of State Secretary for Tourism in the Duterte Government. Wanda Teo Corazon, a native from Davao in the Mindanao is the owner of a large travel agency. These two facts obviously were sufficient credentials to assure her to become State Secretary in Rodrigo Duterte cabinet.

In a recent meeting with Filipino media in Manila, a journalist from the Philippines Star reported that she admitted ” not to face the press” because “I had nothing to show as my accomplishments.” She for example could barely speak proper English, a rather unusual feature for a Filipina in a country where people are fed with US programs on TV and English courses in school since childhood…

However, if her English skills were mediocre, it seems that her ability to pump out money from the State tourism budget has been the cause of her resignation. Local press raised questions already many times about her frequent travels abroad without tangible results.

It seems meanwhile that her position became unsustainable following the rising controversy regarding the attribution of a US$1.1 million (PHP60 million) contract for advertising in a television program produced… by her brothers. Earlier, the State Secretary insisted that she would not resign despite calls to do so.

The Commission on Audit earlier revealed that the advertisements on the television program on PTV 4 did not have documents showing the payments were valid and legal. Since then, the company which benefited of DOT money declared to return the PHP60 million.

According to the Philstar, Wanda Teo’s husband, Roberto Teo, had also to resign from the board of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority or TIEZA after being criticized for conflict of interest and nepotism.

Media highlighted in the past other controversies over Wanda Teo Corazon behaviour such as the acquisition of designer shoes (maybe to emulate former First Lady Imelda Marcos?), the buying of 150 tickets for a musical show as well as sending drivers and some clerks to overseas trips. All these allegations have been denied by the Tourism Secretary…

Meanwhile, Teo resignation needs now to be approved by the President. A spokesperson from Malacanang Palace, office to the President, said that Duterte is not behind the resignation of Teo Corazon. Anyway, in this mini crisis, it will give the Philippines an opportunity to look at someone with more competences strictly in the tourism field!