Lawmaker calls for privatization of Duty Free Philippines

MANILA A lawmaker in the House of Representatives is calling for the privatization of Duty Free Philippines, saying the government firm can even be considered a competitor of local businesses.

In a statement on Monday, Kabayan Partylist Rep. Ron Salo said Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC) took away the sales from local businesses because of their pricing advantage of being duty-free.

Salo said DFPC, which is a government firm, should not be in the business of selling merchandise and the other items in its sales inventory.

"Here government is competing with private business, who also happen to be better at generating jobs than government," Salo said.

"Let the private sector do what DFPC is doing. Give all of that to the private sector. Let businesses bid for the stores Duty Free now has at the airports," he added.

Salo said the business sector can make the duty-free shops relevant again or focus it on specific niche markets.

"Duty Free Philippines is boasting of merchandise exclusively sold at their stores. While it may have made sense way back in the 1980s because of the foreign exchange crisis back then, this set-up does not make economic and business sense now," he said.

"What this situation has created is a niche monopoly for wines, jewelry, some fashion accessories, and other high-end luxury item," he added.

Salo said it is high time to dissolve the DFPC by transferring its assets and personnel to other government agencies. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency