‘Love the Philippines’ campaign launched, backed, draws flak

By Jennifer T. Santos
PASAY CITY β€”Β In the presence of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Tourism Secretary Christina G. Frasco and the Department of Tourism launched a new campaign to draw more foreign and domestic tourists with the slogan “Love the Philippines.”
The campaign, however, immediately drew flak as its campaign video included portions shot not from the Philippines but from other countries like Dubai, Indonesia and others.
Critics said it was “shameless” copy pasting by the DOT advertising agency even as Albay Rep. Joey Salceda criticized the group for skipping the Mayon Volcano.
Frasco, however, stood firm on the campaign even as various sectors called on her to drop the slogan.
The DOT will still use the slogan in attracting both foreign and local tourists to travel around the country, Frasco said during the 2022 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts and Tourism Statistics Dissemination Forum in Pasay City.

In her speech, Frasco cited the tourism sector’s achievements over the past year, ending it with the message, β€œLove the Philippines.”

β€œHaving come out of the pandemic, indeed the greatest threat to humanity, we have survived, we have thrived, and we continue in the journey towards recovery and transformation. We are the Philippines. We have gone through so much as a nation,” she said.

β€œWe possess the strength of spirit to continue to prevail and to overcome. The world has told us that there is so much to love about our country. And I’m fully confident that if all of us look into the depths of our heart, we will find in each and every one of our fellow Filipinos that burning pride of place for the Philippines and the deep love of country that will propel the recovery of Philippine tourism and allow our country to claim its position as Asia’s tourism powerhous,” Frasco said,

Frasco was interviewed after delivering a speech during a tourism industry event at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, where a big tarpaulin greeted guests with the campaign slogan “Love the Philippines.”

The same words adorned the stage and other areas of the venue. Frasco also repeated the slogan several times during her talk β€” her first public engagement since the controversy broke out.

“Philippine tourism is well on the road to recovery. The Philippines is back, the Philippines is open and ready to tell the world the Filipino story, because there are just so many reasons to love the Philippines,” she said.

The government unveiled the country’s new tourism slogan on June 27, with FrascoΒ  that the whole campaign was worth β‚±49 million. Other reports said it costs some P200 million.

Frasco, however, said DDB has not receive any payment from the DOT.

Netizens pointed out that stock footage of locations abroad were used in the video.

DBB Philippines, the advertising agency hired by the DOT for the campaign, apologized for the “highly inappropriate” use of foreign stock footage, and assured that no public funds were used to produce the “mood video.”

The DOT announced that it was terminating its contract with the ad agency and reserves the right to take further action as Congress wants an investigation.