To put things in perspective, the consolidated sales reached a total of $226 million in 2019 compared with $217 million the previous year.
In relation to the latest statistics, DFPC chief operating officer Vicente Pelagio Angala said the Philippines’ hosting of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and the opening of Duty Free Luxe have significantly contributed to the upswing.
He said the growing number of tourists visiting the newly-rehabilitated Boracay Island via Kalibo Airport has been beneficial to DFPC sales.
When it comes to the top source markets, 85% came from Filipino tourists, balikbayans (visiting Filipinos who live overseas) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Confectionery is still the major growth driver, with 31 percent share of the total sales, followed by liquor (21 percent), fragrance and cosmetics (18 percent), and fashion merchandise (10 percent).
The DFPC claimed it has met a number of significant milestones last year, including the opening of “Go Lokal’s” Marahuyo this past November.
“In line with the directive of Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), we have augmented our product portfolio which now includes more local artisans,” Angala said.
With the agency’s strong commitment to giving top local products a global audience, DFPC was recognized as “Highly Commended CSR Initiative of the Year “at the 2019 Frontier Awards in Cannes, France for supporting The Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The DFPC has expanded the list of exclusive brands that it carries which now includes: Gucci Beauty, Armani Beauty, Hogan, and MCM. Last year, it also embarked on the renovation of the Fiestamall and NAIA Terminal 1 Arrival stores.
DFPC is expected to maintain the momentum in 2020 with the opening of Duty Free store at the Hilton Sun Valley Resort inside Clark Freeport Zone by the first quarter of this year.
For everyone’s reference, the DFPC is the country’s sole operator of the duty-and tax-free merchandising system, and a vital component of the DOT as it contributes to the efforts in the development of the country’s tourism infrastructure, programs, and projects through revenue remittances. There are Duty Free Philippines outlets and shopping centers around the Philippines including Parañaque City (Fiestamall shopping center), Cebu province, and Clark International Airport to name a few.
For further learning, posted below is the official FAQ of Duty Free Philippines.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Members Networking Night
Let me share to you all that I had a grand time meeting with varied business people and professionals. On the evening of July 29 at Manila Elks Club in Makati City, I attended the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Members Networking Night organized by the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. The result was a lot of enlightenment on my part and satisfaction now that I have brand new connections with many professionals.
I also had a grand experience learning about the strengthening ties between the Philippines and Israel. Since a miracle happened to me last year, I moved forward personally, socially and professionally. Along the way, I gained tremendous interest on Israel which I hope to visit someday.
As a nation, Israel is highly significant. It is one of the most innovative nations in the whole world as confirmed by a recent study. In addition to establishing ties with other professionals, my passion for Israel was a key factor behind my participation in the Networking Night event.
During the event, there was a program with a nice presentation to the members and the guests. Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad warmly welcomed us with his remarks followed by a short speech delivered by Ms. Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov who is the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Israel.
The Deputy Chief of Mission confirmed that bilateral ties between the Philippines and Israel are indeed getting stronger.
“The job that Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has been doing is very much appreciated by the embassy. It is a great contribution to our bilateral relations,” said Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov. “I am very pleased to mention that we have very positive developments in the relations between Israel and the Philippines recently.”
While emphasizing the positive developments, she mentioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to Israel in 2018 which is a milestone as it marked the first time a Philippine President visited the country. Duterte had a big delegation with him to Israel and a lot of agreements were signed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Duterte.
The Deputy Chief of Mission mentioned that one of the signed agreements was related to the employment of caregivers and that fees on them would be reduced. Already there are 35,000 Filipino caregivers working in Israel who contributed a lot to the local society. The other agreement mentioned was about the employment of Filipino workers in the tourism industry of Israel. As a nation, Israel has a population of nine million and attracts four million tourists yearly. The Philippines was the first nation approached by Israel for its tourism needs.
After the update about Philippines-Israel relations, networking followed and it was during this time I met with varied professionals and business executives. We introduced ourselves, exchanged business cards and talked business. Along the way, I learned a lot from the professionals I met whose expertise include marketing, logistics, tax law, travel, sales, the airline industry, business solution development, events organizing, fruit processing, career development, real estate, etc.
As the event went on, some prizes were raffled off to very lucky winners (including myself).
By the end of the Networking Night, I went home very enlightened, delighted and satisfied. There is nothing like making a whole lot of connections with varied professionals in just a few hours’ time. In the world of business, having connections is essential and they can add a lot to your business performance as well as its development.
Lastly, I should say that during my previous career as a community newspaper reporter, I attended and reported about the activities of the Parañaque City chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI). Privately I also attended some conferences that attracted varied industry professionals. The Chamber’s Networking Night is the most significant corporate event I attended yet. Now that I’m working in industry and attended this memorable July 29 event, I certainly will watch out for the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ next event and eventually learn more about Israel and its ties with the Philippines.
What is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines?
You must be wondering – what exactly is the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and how significant are they? Let me explain.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines was established with a purpose to foster, enable, facilitate and ensure the success of its members’ businesses while promoting business-to-business networking between Israel and the Philippines. The Chamber aims to collaborate with Philippine government officials, agencies and bureaus, as well as business and community leaders in dealing with important and critical issues affecting business and industries in both countries, while contributing to their civic, social and economic development.
With regards to the benefits of being a member of the Chamber, the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines represents and further the interests of each member. Through General Membership meetings, Business Forums and other events, Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines members receive assistance in promoting their companies and individual interests, keeping them abreast and ahead of business trends both in the country and in Israel.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines has a well established network with varied foreign and local chambers. They have ties with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), other industry group-focused trade and business organizations as well. The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines constantly strives to be the premiere comprehensive resource and vehicle for the achievement of a strong and meaningful bilateral trade relationship between Israel and the Philippines that would be mutually beneficial to both countries.
The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is currently open for local businesses who wish to join them as a member.
If you wish to learn more about the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, visit their website at ICCP.ph and follow their official Facebook page.
Nikko Huelgas Tops TRI-Factor Standard Distance Triathlon In Indonesia!
Nikko Huelgas, the 2-time Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) gold medalist who resides in BF International, Las Piñas City, brought honor again to the Philippines by winning the championship in the Tri-Factor Indonesia Standard Distance triathlon event held this past Sunday (July 7) at the island of Belitung in Indonesia.
According to Huelgas, he completed the 1.5 Kilometer swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run event in an estimated time of 2 hours and 9 minutes. I state estimated because as of this writing, the complete and official results of the event have yet to be published.
For his victory, the BF International resident thanked his coaches and sponsors.
When I asked him through Viber about the experience of the race in Indonesia, Huelgas said that it was a relaxing one as it was held on the island (note: Belitung is located on the east coast of Sumatra) and he was mostly away from the competitors. This helped him lessen his social anxiety as well as the typical pre-race anxiety.
“It was a hot day but staying on the beach front made it manageable and stress-free. No problems happened whatsoever and no diet adjustments. It was able to do a great race that I’ve been longing for the past months,” Huelgas wrote.
When it comes to the quality of the competitors, he described them as not as big as the Asian Championships of triathlon and he was not there to actually win.
“I was there to deliver the best possible performance I can give, as a way for my comeback (in) triathlon,” he added.
With this latest triathlon victory now etched in history, I asked Huelgas what does he plan to achieve for the next six months. He stated that he has a lot of plans up until the end of December and that “things are looking very great” in relation to his most recent performance. He will be joining a race in Cebu very soon.
More notably, Huelgas hopes that his victory last Sunday will help him inch closer to qualify for a slot in the Philippine Team that will compete in the triathlon event of this year’s Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games). The said triathlon event will be held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone which itself is very established as the nation’s main destination for triathlon events.
For the newcomers reading this, Nikko Huelgas won for the nation the gold medals in the triathlon events of the SEA Games of 2015 and 2017. In September 2017, I was with him when he visited Las Piñas City Hall where he met Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar, the Vice Mayor and members of the City Council. I witnessed first hand how proud the City Government officials and personnel were to meet him knowing the fact that a fellow Las Piñero like him won great honors for the country.
With regards to the BF Homes community, Huelgas’ name was heard some people I encountered around. A few people living in the Parañaque City part of BF Homes – or specifically Barangay BF Homes – even wished that Huelgas was part of their barangay and city.
This was in response to reports they received about the proliferation of the non-accredited entities that posted advertisements on the different social media platforms or airline ticketing, travel and tours arrangement, hotel booking, and training offerings for travel business management.
“The public is hereby warned to be vigilant in dealing with these entities as there can be no guarantee on the reliability and legitimacy of their products and services,” the DOT said in its statement.
This development by the DOT is timely. Just days ago, there was this TV news report about a lady who got victimized by another lady who turned out to be a fake travel agent.
She paid a lot of money to the scammer for a Hong Kong vacation with her kids. As the scammer contacted her telling her to deposit thousands of pesos more for the vacation due to a “price increase”. The victim became suspicious and she went to the local authorities. Afterwards a personal meeting between the two happened in Las Pinas City and eventually the scammer got arrested.
You can watch the Tagalog language TV news video below.
Going back to the Department of Tourism, they said there are only select training centers that accredited to offer courses on putting up travel agencies and other tourism-related services. All travel agencies/ tour operators, including online bookings, are covered under the DOT Accreditation Law requiring accreditation before issuance of business permits, it stressed.
The DOT stated that entities with valid and existing accreditation with them have informative websites and/or online pages bearing the DOT’s Quality Seal and their corresponding Accreditation Number with validity.
For a complete list of DOT-accredited enterprises, the public are encouraged to visit the DOT’s website.
The lesson here is that you should not allow yourself to be fooled and tempted by those attractive holiday ads on social media as well as those transmitted via email or snail mail.
Always ask yourself if the seller is accredited by the DOT. Don’t forget to do a background check on the travel package and services seller.
Remember to be cautious and analyze the situation carefully before you proceed to book a vacation or avail any travel-related service. There are lots of scammers online and they are already making things hard not only for customers but also for the legitimate travel businesses.
For your reference regarding the 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup that was held this past weekend (April 27 and 28) at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, here are the post-race photo releases that got published in the Manila Times, Malaya Business Insight and People’s Journal.
Subic Bay, Philippines – April 27, 2019 – It was a complete domination by the mighty Hong Kong team in the sprint events on the first day of the two-day 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup as HK triathletes placed 8 entries in the top ten of the men’s sprint distance featuring 16 to 19 year olds while 7 female entries placed in the top ten, including a sweep of the top three places in both division.
In the super sprint distance though, the Philippines managed to share the glory with a second place finish in the boys’ side and a third place achievement in the distaff side to share in the day’s glory.
The duo of Jason Hardcastle and Nicholas Tsang Cheung Singh set the tone from the start of the swim leg in the sprint race that started at the ACEA Beach Resort & Hotel as they left the other participants literally in their wake and were never pressured en route to an easy 1 – 2 finish with Hardcastle retaining the title he won last year, clocking 56 minutes and 46 seconds for the 750m. swim-20K bike-5K run while Sing , who was left behind in the final run lap, finished in 57.11. Philip Chenaux-Repond completed the 1-2-3 finish by HK in 58.34.
” I was focused on a podium finish, I knew I was in good form and I was not really pressured, the weather though was very hot, ” said Hardcastle after the race sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union ( ITU ) and the Asian Triathlon Confederation ( ASTC ) and backed by SBMA and its Tourism Department, the Philippine Olympic Committee ( POC ) Philippine Sports Commission ( PSC ), Pocari Sweat, Standard Insurance, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines (ACIP), NTT, and the ACEA Beach Resort & Hotel.
Best placed local bet was Christian Legacy Academy student Joshua Ramos, 17, who sneaked in at 8th overall with a time of 1:00.57 while the other Filipino triathlete in the top ten was Juan Baniqued in 10th place, finishing in 1:01.35.
” Sa swim pa lang ang layo na gad nung dalawa, but in my case, I was not even expecting this because I knew how strong the field was this year,I really should work more on my swim in the future, ” said Ramos
The distaff side saw a start to finish victory by HK ‘s Bailee Brown who negotiated the distance in 1:04.03 despite the hot weather that bothered her, ” it was a tough race anyway you look at it but I was confident of winning, my strategy was just to be ahead at all time. I am certainly happy with the win and my swimming showed a big improvement, ” said the pretty 19-year-old student from HK University who also competes regularly in the standard distance and even qualified in the last Asian Games’ triathlon event.
Twin sisters Cade and Tulullah Wright, also from Hong Kong, grabbed the next two slots, finishing in 1:04.45 and 1:05.06 respectively to complete the sweep for HK in the junior female elite division of the race .
National triathlete Karen Manayon managed to squeeze herself in the top ten , finishing in 10th place with a time of 1:11.29, The Talisay, Cebu native admitted she was surprised and happy about her performance but not with her time , ” medyo mabigat katawan ko pag gising kanina but no excuse, sobra talaga lakas ng mga taga Hong Kong. “
Nick Yip Tak long and Jan Yip sandwiched local bet Matthew Hermosa in the top 3 of the super sprint distance race as Long took first place in 33.51 i while Yip clocked 35.54 with Hermosa matching up well with a runner-up finish in 35.24.
” Malakas yung champion sa swim, nakalayo agad siya at di ko na nakita pero masaya na ako sa finish ko, ” said the 13 year old Hermosa from Talisay, Cebu and mentored by Andoy Remolino.
HK’s Pauline Courret and Roxanne Wright, younger of the Wright twins, took first and second places, clocking 36.49 and 37.04 respectively while La Union native Lady Samantah Corpuz sprang a surprise with a third place finish in 37.42 also in the super sprint distance race.
” Kulang sa training dahil galing ako sa sa sakit, two weeks ako hindi naka train, ” said Corpuz, a National Age Group Triathlon champion in Subic earlier this year.
” No excuses, the Hong Kong team was just too strong , they have a very good program and has been producing junior champions, in fact in the region, HK is the only one that can compete against Japan. What we need to do is adopt the same approach of Hong Kong in strengthening our junior triathletes especially in the swim leg, ” said Tom Carrasco Jr, president of the organizing Triathlon Association of the Philippines ( TRAP ).
Tomorrow morning (Sunday), focus will be on the men’s and women’s elite races which will also serve as a qualifying event for local triathletes for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).
Asian Games Triathlon Gold Medalist Banners Large Field in 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT)
Pasig City, Philippines – April 20, 2019 – Japanese Jumpei Furuya, 2018 Asian Games triathlon gold medalist, banners a large field of foreign hopefuls vying for qualifying points in the 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup set for April 27 and 28.
Furuya, currently ranked no. 43 in the world and champion of last January’s NTT ASTC Asian Cup event in Rayong, Thailand will be backstopped by 13 other Japanese triathletes.
Poised to crowd out the Japanese are China’s sextet and Hong Kong’s large contingent–33 entries spread over the Elite, Junior and Super Sprint Distance Categories.
Supported by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC,) NTT, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Standard Insurance, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines (ACIP) and Pocari Sweat, SuBIT lured over a hundred foreign entries.
Chinese Taipei had entered 18, Korea 16, Macao 10, Singapore nine, Syria six and Thailand four.
Not to be discounted in the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run Elite competition are both the pair of Australians and Palestinians and a sole Canadian.
According to Tom Carrasco, Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) president, John Chicano will spearhead the Philippine challenge along with Kim Remolino even as Filipino-Spanish Fer Caseres is seen to spring a surprise in his quest for a slot in the Team Philippines for the SEA Games in December.
In the distaff side, 2017 SEA Games medalist Claire Adorna, Asia Games veteran Kim Kilgroe and fast rising JC Abad are the country’s best bets.
Overall, close to 800 foreigners and locals will see action in the annual event organized by the TRAP in cooperation with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Tourism Department.
For more information, visit Triathlon.org.ph or send email at email@example.com.