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SciTech

DOT: 'Plagiarized' food article was just a test page


An official from the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday that the supposedly “plagiarized" article on Filipino food posted on the government agency’s website has long been taken down. June Garduque, officer-in-charge of the DOT Information Technology division, said the write-up, supposedly copied word for word from food blog MarketManila.com, was only posted online as part of test runs conducted by the department while developing the website in 2008 in coordination with a private firm. Just a test page Garduque said that the post was just a "test" page meant to help the website's developers assess the layout and overall look of the page itself. As such, it was not meant for public consumption and was promptly deleted. “Test page iyon at hindi final. During the final run, inalis na namin iyon. Nagkataon lang siguro na narecover from search engines. Alam naming hindi iyon validated kaya dinelete na namin iyon," he said in a phone interview. He likewise said that the department makes sure that articles posted on its site are originally written by its employees. “Hindi kami nagpe-plagiarize. Hindi kami naglalagay ng information na hindi galing sa amin. We are very mindful of our content," he said. Marketman: 'Outrageous' plagiarism A food blogger who uses the online name “Marketman" posted on his website an article claiming that the DOT “possibly" stole his intellectual property by copying a similar article he wrote in 2006. The same article was posted on the DOT website in December 2008, with a certain “trinadelro" as its author. The blogger also demanded that DOT identify the person who might have plagiarized his work, calling the act as “outrageous." Garduque, for his part, said he does not remember any employee of the department with a similar sounding name. He likewise vowed to find out if a person from the department or the private firm used the name “trinadelro" as pseudonym when the article was posted during the test runs on the website. He also appealed to the blog’s writer “not to blow the issue out of proportion," while gaving the assurance that employees or partners from private firmswill be sanctioned if plagiarism was indeed committed. Last year, the DOT also faced criticism for copying the scrapped “Pilipinas Kay Ganda" logo from the Polish tourism logo. Officials of the DOT at that time denied this allegation. — TJD, GMA News
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