Wanda Tulfo Teo

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Wanda Tulfo Teo
Wanda Teo SG WTTC cropped.jpg
Tulfo Teo in 2018
Secretary of Tourism
In office
June 30, 2016 – May 8, 2018
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Preceded byRamon Jimenez Jr.
Succeeded byBernadette Romulo-Puyat
Personal details
Wanda Corazon Teshiba Tulfo

(1952-11-04) November 4, 1952 (age 66)
Kidapawan, Cotabato, Philippines
Political partyPDP–Laban
Alma materSt. Theresa's College (Quezon City)

Wanda Corazon Teshiba Tulfo-Teo[1] (born November 4, 1952) is a Filipino travel agent who served as Secretary of the Philippines' Department of Tourism from July 2016 until her resignation due to anomalies[2][3] and multi million-peso corruption scandals[4][5] in May 8, 2018.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Wanda Tulfo-Teo was born in November 4, 1952 to Ramon Silvestre Tulfo Sr. and Caridad Alvar Teshiba in Kidapawan, Cotabato.[1] She has two sisters and seven brothers.[7]

For her elementary education Tulfo-Teo attended the Notre Dame of Jolo College in Sulu and for her high school studies attended Pillar College of Zamboanga City where she graduated from in 1969. She obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration from St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City.[1]


Tulfo has been actively working in the tourism sector for more than two decades.[8] In the 1970s she was employed by airliners and later served posts in various tourism-oriented organizations.

Early years[edit]

In the 1970s, she worked as a flight attendant for Filipinas Orient Airways and Air Niugini Airways. In the same period, she also worked as a ground personnel for Philippine Airlines and was assigned in its ticketing office. From 1980 to 1981, she taught business administration at the Ateneo de Davao University as an instructor and worked as an account manager for GT Philippines from 1980 to 1995.[1]

She is also a co-owner of a travel agency, Mt. Apo Travel and Tours[7] where she served as its president from 1994[1] to June 2016, when she divested herself of any involvement in the company following her appointment to the Department of Tourism.[9]


Teo-Tulfo served as president of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS)[7], the biggest travel agency organization in the country.[9] She is a member of Davao Travel Agencies Association (DTAA), the Davao Association of Tour Operators (DATO) and the Davao Regional Tourism Council (DRTC).[10]

As Tourism Secretary[edit]

Rodrigo Duterte (center) and then-Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo (fourth from right), flanked by candidates of the Miss Universe 2016 pageant.

Tulfo-Teo was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Tourism by President Rodrigo Duterte in June 30, 2016 replacing Ramon Jimenez Jr.. Teo initially stated that she would change the present tourism slogan coined by her predecessor Jimenez, "It's More Fun in the Philippines", during her term, but she later decided to instead improve on it because of its positive effects that resulted in invaluable tourist arrivals in the Philippines.[11][12] She said she lacked any credentials and remarked, “I had nothing to show as my accomplishments.”[13]

As Secretary, she was involved in talks to secure the hosting rights of the Miss Universe 2016 pageant which was hosted in the Philippines in January 2017.[14] The DOT under her watch was also involved in talks to host Miss Universe 2018 which was planned to be held in a rehabilitated Boracay in November 2018.[15]

In May 8, Tulfo-Teo resigned from her post after the Commission on Audit revealed she directed the placement of P60 million in tourism ads to Kilos Pronto, a blocktimer show on PTV-4, despite lack of a memorandum of agreement or contract. Kilos Pronto is produced and hosted by Teo's brothers Ben Tulfo and Erwin Tulfo, both are allied to Rodrigo Duterte.[16][17] Teo stressed that she 'did not know' that her own brothers were running the very specific television show she sent 60 million pesos to.[18] The Tulfo brothers afterwards promised that they will return the 60 million pesos of government fund that they received from their sister.[19][20] However, the siblings later retracted, saying that they maintain their innocence and refuse to return the government funds used in the deal.[21][22] Tulfo Teo was succeeded by Bernadette Romulo-Puyat who plans to give farm tourism a focus and reviewed the Philippines' possible hosting of the Miss Universe 2018 pageant.[23] Romulo-Puyat dropped the Philippines' hosting bid due to budgetary concerns.[24]

Return to private life[edit]

Senate inquiry on the 60-million corruption scandal of Wanda Tulfo Teo, Ben Tulfo and Erwin Tulfo.

In June 17, 2018 it was revealed that Erwin Tulfo and Ben Tulfo have not yet returned the 60 million in government funds that Wanda Teo gave them during her stint as tourism secretary.[25] In June 28, 2018, the Commission on Audit revealed that resigned tourism secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo and a former Tourism executive took millions worth of luxury goods from Duty Free stores in 2017 and charged them as well as consultancy fees to the funds intended to fuel the department's programs.[26] In August 2018, under a Senate hearing, Tulfo-Teo and her siblings, Ben Tulfo and Erwin Tulfo, declared that they will never return the money they got from the Department of Tourism, sparking nationwide outrage and backlash.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Wanda Tulfo-Teo's four brothers are prominent journalists namely: Ramon, Jr. (Mon),[7] Ben, Raffy and Erwin Tulfo.[28] Tulfo-Teo's husband Roberto "Bobby" U. Teo[7] is currently a member of the board of directors of LBP Leasing and Finance Corporation,[29] a subsidiary of government-owned bank Land Bank of the Philippines.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Curriculum Vitae of Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo" (PDF). Tourism Promotions Board Philippines. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/06/28/DOT-Tourism-Secretary-Wanda-Teo-Duty-Free-shopping-COA.html
  3. ^ https://rmn.ph/ad-placement-60-million-hindi-pa-rin-naibabalik-ng-tulfo-brothers-sec-berna-puyat/
  4. ^ https://www.rappler.com/nation/202035-wanda-teo-no-idea-ben-erwin-tulfo-hosts-kilos-pronto-show
  5. ^ https://www.rappler.com/nation/201945-tulfo-brothers-bitag-media-return-60-million-pesos-government
  6. ^ http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/08/18/wanda-teo-resigns-as-tourism-chief
  7. ^ a b c d e "Mon Tulfo's sister is Duterte's Tourism Secretary: Wanda Corazon Teo". Politiko. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  8. ^ Panayam kay incoming Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo (Interview with incoming Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo). YouTube. GMA News. June 17, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Press Conference of Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella and DOT Secretary Wanda Teo (Sept 1, 2016)". Official Gazette. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  10. ^ Arguillas, Carolyn O. (June 14, 2016). "Duterte names 3 more Cabinet secretaries". MindaNews. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  11. ^ "Incoming DOT secretary: 'It's More Fun in the Philippines' to be retained". Rappler. June 17, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  12. ^ "Tourism department to launch improved slogan". ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. January 11, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  13. ^ "Wanda Teo as tourism head | Philstar.com". philstar.com. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  14. ^ "Did you know? Miss Universe in PH almost didn't push through". ABS-CBN News. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  15. ^ "90% chance for another Miss U in PH: Teo". Philippine Canadian Inquirer. Philippine News Agency. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  16. ^ http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/08/18/wanda-teo-resigns-as-tourism-chief
  17. ^ http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/08/18/pagsasauli-ng-mga-tulfo-sa-p60-milyon-di-sapat-wanda-teo-pinagbibitiw
  18. ^ https://www.rappler.com/nation/202035-wanda-teo-no-idea-ben-erwin-tulfo-hosts-kilos-pronto-show
  19. ^ https://www.rappler.com/nation/201945-tulfo-brothers-bitag-media-return-60-million-pesos-government
  20. ^ Tan, Lara; De Guzman, Chad (8 May 2018). "Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo resigns 'out of delicadeza'". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  21. ^ https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/08/14/18/tulfo-siblings-wont-return-govt-funds-in-advertising-deal
  22. ^ "Tulfo siblings won't return gov't funds in advertising deal". ABS-CBN News. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  23. ^ de Vera, Analou (9 May 2018). "DOT chief Romulo-Puyat to focus on farm tourism". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  24. ^ "No Miss Universe hosting for PH this year, says tourism chief". ABS-CBN News. 18 May 2018.
  25. ^ https://rmn.ph/ad-placement-60-million-hindi-pa-rin-naibabalik-ng-tulfo-brothers-sec-berna-puyat/
  26. ^ http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/06/28/DOT-Tourism-Secretary-Wanda-Teo-Duty-Free-shopping-COA.html
  27. ^ http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1021855/trillanes-to-press-plunder-charges-vs-teo-tulfo-brothers
  28. ^ Caridad Tulfo–how she brought up the (in)famous brothers – Inquirer
  29. ^ "People Behind LLC". LBP Leasing and Finance Corporation. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  30. ^ Corrales, Nestor (June 6, 2017). "Duterte appoints DOT chief's husband as Land Bank director". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ramon Jimenez Jr.
Secretary of Tourism
Succeeded by
Bernadette Romulo-Puyat