COA to Duty Free: Adopt measures to mitigate pandemic impact after 72-pct sales drop

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2021 01:12 PM

MANILA— Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC) suffered a 72.37 percent drop in its net sales, from $226.200 million in 2019 to $62.490 million in 2020, according to the latest Commission on Audit (COA) report.

Government auditors noted that the DFPC, a non-chartered government owned and controlled corporation, had to temporarily close all its stores during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon from March to May due to the pandemic. When shops re-opened, operations “slowly commenced.”

The DFPC management had to lower its initial target sales of $245 million for 2020 to $62 million, which was accomplished at a little over 100 percent or $62.49.

“We recommended that management establish strategies that will adapt to the changes in trade and tourism industry to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to the corporation and continue to observe cost-cutting measures to minimize further losses,” the audit team said.

For its part, the DFPC management told the audit team that the agency is heavily reliant on international travels and departures which remain unpredicatable due to intermittent lockdowns.

“DFPC plans to strive for sustainability and meet its recalibrated targets by implementing programs to maximize penetration of the limited travelers’ market while at the same time adapting to the current consumer conditions,” the audit report said.

A copy of the audit report was received by DFPC Chief Operating Officer Pelagio Angala and board members on August 2, 2021.

Duty Free has shops in airport terminals in Manila, and at international airports in Clark in Pampanga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Kalibo in Aklan, Mactan in Cebu, and Davao.

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