Retitled And Updated: The PIA Tarpaulin ‘Project’ For Pres. Arroyo (PIA’s Sec. Dodi Limcaoco: It’s Our Job To Help LGUs Welcome Guests, Inform Public Of What Government Does)
GMA News broke this story on-line yesterday:
When President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visits Baguio City on Friday, she will be greeted by large tarpaulins with “thank you” messages from an assortment of citizens groups.
But a memo that first circulated through Facebook reveals that her administration ordered the tarps and is paying for the printing.
In the memo dated August 26 addressed to Philippine Information Agency (PIA) chief Secretary Conrado Limcaoco Jr., PIA Cordillera Director Helen Tibaldo requested “the printing of the tarps along the route” of the President’s visit.
Tibaldo also requested Limcaoco’s approval for a series of thank you messages for various projects. Those supposedly thanking the president include such amorphous groups as “displaced OFWs” and “Baguio City urban poor.”
Contacted by phone by GMANews.TV, Tibaldo confirmed that the memo indeed came from her office. “Yes, we sent a fax message to Sec. Limcaoco,” she said.
However, she declined to discuss the memo in any detail or give information about the groups thanking the president.
“Please call again later, I’ll answer that,” she said. When GMANews.TV tried to reach Tibaldo again, she was not answering the calls.
Almost no further comment is necessary, with public reaction ranging from mild disquiet to disgust, and cussing being elicited.
The realization: it’s OUR MONEY being used for such a delusional exercise.
No reaction to the story has yet come from Secretary Limcaoco’s office.
I am trying to get Sec. Limcaoco’s side about this.
Through an intermediary, this writer sought to get Sec. Limcaoco’s side.
The terse reply was a text message: “I have no comment.”
I have now just received a second text message from Sec. Limcaoco:
I’m out of town until next week
But let me clarify that it’s the PIA’s job to help LGUs welcome, and thank guests who help them, ahile also informing the public of what government does.
Thank you Mr. Secretary.
Looping this off, let me just share that the matter of an internal memo between the PIA Regional Operation Office and a regional unit being leaked, and thus misinterpreted, is quite unlike your hands on management style.
Filipinos, your public, certainly expect and deserve solid and accurate information of how tax money goes to socially-beneficial programs.
Anything less would be a gross disservice to the President, and the true sovereign: the Filipino people.