The new Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco was warmly welcomed by the management and staff of Duty Free PhilippinesCorporation during her visit last August 8, 2022 to attend the attached agency’s Board Meeting. Frasco serves as Chairperson of the DFPC Board.
“We were all fired up and inspired by her visit. Her empathic regard for Duty Free Philippines and the people working herewere so evident. We believe that the Secretary’s recovery plans which are aligned with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s vision of a comprehensive infrastructure plan could easily help regain the tourism industry’s pre-pandemic levels, and at the same time help us (DFPC) bounce back..” said DFPC Chief Operating Officer Vicente Angala.
Angala claimed that the Tourism Secretary expressed her support for DFPC specifically on matters that could help the agency quickly recover and hence be able to continue serving the “pasalubong” shopping needs of its exclusive market of balikbayans (returning Filipino residents), overseas Filipino workers and foreign tourists. As a GOCC, DFPC’s earnings accrue to the government for its tourism infrastructure programs. However, the COVID19 pandemic turned the retail landscape into a graveyard of bankruptcies and closures, and DFPC, being a travel retailer, has not been spared. Since then, DFPC has been operating at a loss as expenses are continually incurred, specifically on manpower, utilities, janitorial and security.
Last July, the Secretary already met with the DFPC officers to discuss the various aspects and mandate of the organization, other pertinent issues regarding operations and the possible means to make the Duty Free outlets globally competitive and profitable for the agency.