DOT chief: Duty Free firm’s privatization possible

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By:  Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo, Business Mirror

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is eyeing the privatization of the Duty Free Philippines Corp. (DFPC) despite the latter’s profits being a source of funds for government’s tourism promotion programs.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said she has secured the Department of Finance’s backing in the plans to let go of DFPC.

DFPC earned a profit of P325.63 million in 2018, based on its unaudited financial statement posted on its web site. This was up 80 percent from the P179.72 million (audited) earned at the end of the 2017.

The increase in profit was due to higher service business income at P11.49 billion versus the P11 billion in 2017. Financial expenses were also trimmed to P265,406 last year from P1.09 million in 2017.

DFPC is hoping the opening of its Luxe retail store at the Mall of Asia area in Pasay City will boost its sales. The store primarily targets Chinese tourists, the second top market for the Philippines. In the first half of the year, tourists from China grew by 34.12 percent to 866,561, accounting for 21 percent of total 4.1 million arrivals for the period.

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