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Where’s the $ 7 million?

Congresswoman Gwendolyn Garcia questions DOT's star rating program, asks House Committee on Tourism to look into disbursement of funds
http://www.mb.com.ph/lady-solon-questions-dots-star-grading-system-for-hotels-resorts/

DOT USEC Maria Victoria Jasmin feigns ignorance over disbursement of $7.1 million grant
http://www.tribune.net.ph/business/transparency-on-p320-m-grant-sought-from-dot

Consul Exposes Possible $7 Million "Napoles-style" anomaly in Tourism. Government of Canada, are you paying any attention to where your taxpapers' money is going?
http://www.philstar.com/cebu-news/2015/10/21/1513167/consul-reveals-7m-budget-hotel-standards-review

DOT Still Refuses to Explain How Canada's $7 million grant Evaporated
http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/10/27/1515272/dot-must-help-enhance-tourism-industry

DoT official quizzed: Where did $7-M Canadian grant go?
http://www.tribune.net.ph/business/dot-official-quizzed-where-did-7-m-canadian-grant-go

DOT's Hotel Star Rating System

DOT Star Rating System Suspended
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/12/10/1531035/house-seeks-suspend-dots-star-rating-system-hotels

DOT's hotel star rating program a waste of funds. Solon files resolution for House Committee on Tourism to conduct inquiry
http://www.congress.gov.ph/press/details.php?pressid=9160

House Resolution 2503 to probe DOT's implementation of hotel star rating system
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/probe-d-o-t-s-star-grading-system/

DOT's hotel star rating system faces mounting criticism. International hotel consultant calls scheme impractical and unnecessary
http://www.philstar.com/business/2015/10/29/1515884/international-hotel-consultant-nixes-new-star-rating

In face of mounting opposition, DOT Secretary admits hotel ratings program is "far from perfect"
http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/10/29/1515982/response-hotel-industry

DOT Tries to Appease Critics by Offering to Hold "Dialogue", but Insists It Will Go Ahead No Matter What. Is that Dialogue or Monologue?
http://www.philstar.com/business/2015/10/19/1512163/dot-hold-dialogue-critics-new-rating-system

Despite Many Fatal Deficiencies, DOT Insists It Will Push Full Implementation of Hotel Star Rating Program
http://www.mb.com.ph/dot-to-push-full-implementation-of-new-rating-system/

Plantation Bay statement on DOT's hotel rating plan
http://www.philstar.com/freeman-opinion/2015/09/30/1505557/plantation-bay-statement-dots-hotel-rating-plan

Plantation Bay Reacts
http://www.philstar.com/business/2015/10/09/1508556/mailbox-plantation-bay-reacts

Hotel, resort owners slam DOT rating project
http://www.philstar.com/metro/2015/09/20/1501703/hotel-resort-owners-slam-dot-rating-project

DOT slams critics of new star rating system for hotels, resorts
http://www.philstar.com/business/2015/09/22/1502444/dot-slams-critics-new-star-rating-system-hotels-resorts

Hotel star rating roils tourism industry
http://business.inquirer.net/199994/hotel-star-rating-roils-tourism-industry

Red Flags in DOT's Budget

COA questions P1.2-B contracts for tourism campaign
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/09/22/1502637/coa-questions-p1.2-b-contracts-tourism-campaign

‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign violated procurement rules finds state auditor
http://www.mumbrella.asia/2015/09/its-more-fun-of-the-philippines-campaign-violated-procurement-rules-finds-state-auditor/

Red flags in DOT budget, PH tourism
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/08/24/15/red-flags-dot-budget-ph-tourism

COA to DOT officials: Refund P162-M illegal perks
http://www.rappler.com/nation/48921-coa-dot-refund-millions-perks

DOT's It's More Fun in the Philippines Campaign

Manila hotel occupancy rates fall short of expectations despite government marketing blitz
http://www.wsj.com/articles/philippine-hotels-boom-leaves-glut-of-beds-1445626981

Tourism under Aquino: ‘More fun’ or too ambitious?
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/126512/tourism-under-aquino-more-fun-or-too-ambitious

Copycat? Departmet of Tourism bungles tourism poster once again
http://www.newsflash.org/2004/02/sb/sb007543.htm

Philippine tourism in second copycat ad row
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/01/06/12/philippine-tourism-second-copycat-ad-row

It’s More Funny in the Philippines
http://asianjournalusa.com/its-more-funny-in-the-philippines-p11802-167.htm

New DOT slogan sparks debates
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/765463/new-dot-slogan-sparks-debates

It's More Fun in the Philippines: Really?
http://thejournalisticview.com/its-more-fun-in-the-philippines-really/

Why we don’t need to emphasize that it’s more fun in the Philippines
http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2012/01/why-we-dont-need-to-emphasize-that-its-more-fun-in-the-philippines/

Opinion (national and local dailies)

Is it still more fun in the Philippines?
Wilfrido V.E. Arcilla
http://opinion.inquirer.net/89522/is-it-still-more-fun-in-the-philippines

‘The fault in our stars’
Cito Beltran
http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/09/28/1504704/fault-our-stars

Reaching for the stars
Rey Gamboa
http://www.philstar.com/business/2015/10/06/1507474/reaching-stars

Expensive act of rating hotels
Elias Espinoza
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/opinion/2015/10/07/espinoza-expensive-act-rating-hotels-434602

The DOT rating the hotel/ resort industry. Why?
Bobit S. Avila
http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2015/08/25/1491924/dot-rating-hotel/resort-industry.-why

DOT

Official website of the DOT regarding this project
http://www.pictourism.ph/

Link to the announcement re: CIDA/ADB grant
http://www.tourism.gov.ph/Pages/20130410DOTreceives$71MgrantfromADBCIDA.aspx

PDF of DOT's National Accommodation Standards – Resorts
http://www.tourism.gov.ph/Downloadable%20Files/Resort%20for%20web.pdf

PDF of DOT's National Accommodation Standards – Hotels
http://www.tourism.gov.ph/Downloadable%20Files/Hotel%20for%20web.pdf

Understanding the Philippine Star Rating System
http://www.visitmyphilippines.com/images/ads/53c857dd27f4f7a05d419798eea5159c.pdf

Philippine Star Rating System's Anticipated Questions
http://www.visitmyphilippines.com/images/ads/4ca5eb602ed736be7958330ad5f9fbb1.pdf

Number of Accommodation Establishments and Room Per Region, Province and City/Municipality, 2014
http://www.tourism.gov.ph/SitePages/supply.aspx

Philippines is the Only National Government in the World to field Untrained Agents (many unemployed, others mid-level staff in marginal hotels) to use their personal judgment to grade hotel "quality" and hand out Hotel Star Ratings.

UK government pulls the plug on hotel star rating programs
http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/hotel-star-system-to-lose-official-backing-2192474.html

Tourism slumps, hotel stars in Norway dumped
http://www.newsinenglish.no/2013/09/18/tourism-slumps-hotel-stars-dumped/

The Canadian system (the donor) is voluntary and carried out by a private sector, not the national government.
http://www.canadaselect.com/how-we-rate

The rating system in Europe is also simpler, does not allow for much personal judgment, and is implemented by the private sector, not the Government.
http://www.hotelstars.eu/fileadmin/download/kriterien/Hotelstars_Union-_Classification_Criteria_2015-2020.pdf

In the US, the Government is not involved in hotel star ratings at all.
http://static.howstuffworks.com/pdf/lodging-criteria.pdf

Visit Scotland and Visit England's systems are also objective. Evaluators are not required to rate condition, design, value, food variety, "designer" quality, etc.
http://www.visitscotland.org/pdf/Insert_1_Notes_for_Hotels2012.pdf
http://www.qualityintourism.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Hotel-Standard-INT13.pdf

Ireland is the ONLY national government that dares to meddle with hotel star ratings, and at least its system is objective and requires no personal judgment.
http://www.failteireland.ie/FailteIreland/media/WebsiteStructure/Documents/2_Develop_Your_Business/4_Quality_Asurance/Hotel-Classification-Matrix.pdf

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