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Duty Free Philippines Supply Scam
« on: April 03, 2018, 06:46:02 AM »
Duty Free Philippines Supply Scam

Two congressmen who co-authored House Resolution 1742 to investigate Duty Free Philippines Corporation’s alleged “midnight deals” want the state firm sold to the private sector or merged into the Department of Tourism or into the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). 

KABAYAN Party-list Rep. Ron Salo wants Duty Free Philippines privatized while 1-Ang Edukasyon Party-List Rep. Salvador Belaro wants the state firm merged into TIEZA or the Department of Tourism.

Salo said the surfacing of allegations or suspicions of anomalies at the DFPC involving procurement, public bidding, and contracts entered into prompted 22 lawmakers including himself to call for the House investigation.

“Recurring audit findings by the Commission on Audit also compel the House to undertake a very detailed probe of Duty Free Philippines' operations. DFPC is supposed to remit earnings to the Department of Tourism. The audited reports show remittance problems year after year,” Rep. Belaro said.

Through HR 1742, the 22 congressmen also want to know why DFPC contracts “renewed in 2013 for a new term of up to the year 2018...were extended to until 2023” three years before the renewed contracts were supposed to end.

The solons said this was “surprising” and there “is no sufficient justification for the premature grant of extensions of these contracts, which can be characterized as midnight deals of the previous officers of DFPC.”

In House Resolution 1742, congressmen said they received reports about contracts DFPC entered into “that did not undergo the required public bidding process and therefore are grossly disadvantageous to the government.”

According to publicly-available information, among the contracts the DFPC awarded in recent years were:

A nearly P50 million contract for a media plan by Telenetwork Media Center Inc. (Notice of Award on 11 May 2015);
A nearly P64 million contract for provision of shuttle services by HAFTI Transport Inc (Notice of Award on 19 November 2014);
A P15.57 million contract for provision of security services by Philand Security Agency Inc. (Notice of Award on 20 May 2015);
A P13.86 million contract for trucking and hustling services by AMVIR Marketing and General Services Corp (Notice of Awards on 04 August 2014); and
A P780,000.00 contract for garbage handling services by Leonel Waste Management Corporation (Notice of Award on 24 April 2015).

“I prefer that it (DFPC) be privatized. It is time for government to get out of this business of running duty-free shops. Perhaps the business sector can make the duty-free shops relevant again or focus it on specific niche markets,” Rep. Salo said.

Belaro said: Minus the irrelevant purposes and diminished roles, what remains of some value is its support role in tourism promotions and tourist services.

“The reconfiguration of Duty-Free Philippines has become a necessity because its relevance as a foreign exchange and revenue earning government corporation and its relative importance as an instrument for augmenting the service facilities for tourists have greatly diminished,” Belaro added. (END)

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