1. What programs would Duty Free Philippines offer to the Balikbayan community this 2019?
1.1. Senior’s 1st Sunday Shopping Swing
The“Senior’s1stSundayShoppingSwing”is offered to Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs), balikbayans, and Regular Filipino Travelers (RFT) seniors citizens who have traveled internationally within 365 days. They are given 10 percent discounts at all Duty Free stores nationwide during first Sunday of the month, in recognition of the invaluable contribution made by senior citizens who have patronized Duty Free Philippines (DFP) for 32 years.
While on regular days, seniors and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) are given a 5 percent discount.
1.2 Kabuhayan Program
The Kabuhayan Shopping Privilege allows balikbayans and OFWs who have gone back abroad to avail of duty and tax-exempt purchase in the amount of US$2,000.00, exclusively for livelihood equipment, within 15 calendar days (30 days for passengers arriving from November 15-January 15) from the date of arrival as our way of helping our kababayans to use their hard-earned money to put up a business while they are working abroad or want to build their life anew when they decided to go home for good, they can purchase their livelihood equipment at Duty Free Philippines Fiestamall.
Among the kabuhayan products available at the DFPC Fiestamall in Parañaque City are popcorn maker, potato cutter, shawarma machine, fryer, hotdog roller, ice cream machine, crepe machine, candy floss maker, chicken rotisserie, rice mill, e-bikes, and car wash package.
1.3 Online Store
The dutyfreephilippines.ph store gives us an additional platform to order a variety of gift items ranging from Filipino export quality products, confectioneries, toys, perfumes, cosmetics, liquor, and among others.
When purchasing online, customers’ flight details are required. Shoppers are allowed to buy up to USD1,000 worth of items 48 hours upon arrival and their items will be prepared for pick-up at the airport.
We are currently working on delivery arrangements to add more convenience. We understand that when someone arrives at the airport, he is always in a hurry to go home to meet loved ones. The delivery will address that concern. This is something new for our OFWs.
1.4 Balikbayan Plus Card
On top of the privilege to shop US$1,500 worth of items, Kabuhayan shopping privilege worth US$2,000, our balikbayans may use them to about 32 partner establishments which include hotels, resorts, theme parks, restaurants, beauty, and wellness centers and avail up to 20 percent discounts.
While we are expanding our partnership with other establishments, our current partners include Resorts World Manila, Belmont Hotel, Hotel H2O, Azalea Hotels and Residences, Bayview Park Hotel Manila, Diamond Hotel, Royal Mandaya Hotel (Davao City), Eurotel Hotel, Icon Hotel, Residence Inn Tagaytay, Antulang Beach Resort (Negros Oriental), Apo View Hotel, Zoobic Safari, Manila Ocean Park, Enchanted Kingdom, Yupangco Music Academy, Bali Seafood Paluto Restaurant, RSM Lutong Bahay Restaurant, I-Secure Networks and Business Solutions, Matus (jewelry), Bert Lozada Swim School Power in the Water, Bioessence, Vasquez Skin and Body Center, Bali Village Hotel Resort and Spa, Paradizoo Theme Farm(Cavite), Residence Inn Tagaytay, Zoocobia Clark, Pampanga, Zoobic Lodge Subic, Bluewater Maribago, Bluewater Panglao, Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort, and Azotea Suites.
1.5 Seafarer Shopping Privilege Program
Seafarers thru DFPC accredited manning agency can avail of 5-percent discounts on chocolates, liquor, wines, cigarettes, and among others at the DFPC Fiestamall in Parañaque City.
To date, we have already accredited 18 manning agencies and we are working aggressively to add more. Seafarers could shop 15 days upon arrival and all they have to do is to claim their discount slip from their agency and present it with their seaman’s book at the Customer Registration Counter.
2. What are the requirements in order to avail the Balikbayan Plus card?
Applicants only need to present their passports at the Customer Relations Registration of the Duty Free Fiestamall. Their card will be released within five minutes and it is free of charge.
According to Republic Act No. 9174 (N ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED 6768, ENTITLED, “AN ACT INSTITUTING A BALIKBAYAN PROGRAM” BY PROVIDING ADDITIONAL BENEFITS AND PRIVILEGES TO BALIKBAYAN AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES), “balikbayan” shall mean a Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one year, a Filipino overseas worker, or a former Filipino citizen and his family who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines.
3. How will the Duty Free Philippines plan to aid the tourism industry this 2019?
Under the Tourism Act of 2009, 50 percent of the revenue of Duty Free Philippines is remitted to the Department of Tourism (DOT) for tourism-development projects. That means the more revenue we generate, the higher share goes to the tourism industry.
A plan to open an outlet at the international airports of Puerto Princesa, Palawan and Bohol-Panglao, Bohol is one of the several undertakings that will happen to DFPC this year to take advantage of the increasing number of inbound tourists in the Philippines.
We are also strengthening Duty Free Philippines as a brand with a high recall targeting its target market through information drive to promote Duty Free products and the array of privileges accorded to OFW, balikbayans, and tourists.
We will innovate and be more creative on the way we project the DFP brand and its products to the public and target markets. We are accessing the potent digital and mobile channels for informing, acquiring and retaining shoppers. In the same manner, as we desire to establish engagements with our markets and audiences effectively.
DFP management is set to make full use of online communication channels and targeted marketing strategies to gain new customers or build deeper relationships with existing ones.
We need to touch base with and get a good market share of the 2.3 Million OFWs.
We also target to convince our Balikbayans of swinging to Duty Free stores while in the Philippines — invoking their sense of nationalism that for every item bought at Duty Free, they help in the alleviation of poverty and creation of jobs in the country, considering that part of DFP revenue goes to the development of the Philippines tourism industry which tops the country’s economic powerhouse.
Duty Free Fiestamall has long been synonymous with the Overseas Filipino Market to serve returning Filipinos an easy way to purchase “pasalubongs” or gifts for their loved ones, will be renovated before the end of the year.
We need to transform Fiestamall into a more contemporary setting, packed with upgraded and interactive amenities that families can enjoy while shopping. Improvements at Fiestamall include well-curated displays of products, the setting up of a much-improved food court and other food outlets, and the installation of lounges and other conveniences that would complete a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
On the other hand, Duty Free Luxe has opened opportunities to serve Filipino traveler and foreign tourists, mostly the Chinese market.
Duty Free Luxe is already making arrangements with the different hotels in the MOA area. This store will be catering more to the Chinese so the categories are mostly fashion, perfumes, and cosmetics that are items in demand by the Chinese.
We have expanded our offerings specifically at Duty Free Luxe to appeal to the Chinese market. We carry the YSL. Coach, SKII, and soon Gucci. We are also set to open a Go Lokal store, where we carry exclusive local products for Luxe.
Since it opened last October 2018, the majority of the buyers at Luxe are Chinese.
4. The Department of Tourism is presently striving for sustainable tourism, how will Duty Free Philippines support this endeavor?
Responding to the global demand for eco- friendly products, we make sure that our stores are plastic free. We have started to use eco bags and biodegradable plastics a few years ago.
We are also a big supporter of Eco-friendly brands. Visiting the Go Lokal and Philippines’ Finest kiosks, you will notice that our products are derived from natural materials and ingredients that are expertly hand-worked by rural and artisanal communities, providing a sustainable livelihood for our marginalized sector.
5. How will the Duty Free Philippines promote Filipino products while simultaneously catering to foreign brands?
Those two categories cater to a separate market. As we support Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat’s thrust to promote homegrown products, we see an opportunity to promote our local brands to outbound tourists for their pasalubong abroad that is why we made sure that we have a wide range of export-quality local products at our stores at the departure of NAIA terminals 1, 2, 3 and Mactan International Airport terminal 2.
While we are aggressive in encouraging OFWs and balikbayans to purchase chocolates, liquors, and among other imported products at Duty Free Philippines.
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