MANILA, Philippines — Duty Free Philippines Corp. (DFPC) is engaging the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center for the conduct of a study on its possible privatization, a top-ranking official said.

“Actually, we’re entering an agreement with the PPP Center to review our operations and from that study they will check what business model will be applicable for Duty Free,” DFPC chief operating officer Vicente Angala said.

Angala said the study would look into the best business model for the company if it would be privatized, whether as a franchise or a joint venture.

He added that the agreement with the PPP was already approved by the DFPC board, but is still subject to the approval of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

Once approved, Angala said it would take a minimum of two years to conduct the study.

Angala said privatization could help the company boost its sales.

“It will help also because at least, a private entity will run the operations. At least the government will have a guaranteed sales on a yearly basis. That’s a good move also,” Angala said.

For this year, the company is targeting to generate P226 million in revenues for this year, lower than its initial target of P260 million.

Angala explained that the company lowered its revenue target for this year due to the delays in the opening of some of its stores.

He said Duty Free Luxe in the Mall of Asia complex should have opened December last year, but only opened in October.

DFPC’s airport outlets also incurred delays in its opening dates. Among these stores are the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 outlet, which should have opened last year but was opened in July, and its branch in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

The company earlier reported that it generated over P4.1 million total sales in Duty Free Luxe’s soft opening from Oct. 17 to 24.

“This is a good indication of Duty Free Luxe’s robust sales performance until the holiday season,” Angala said.

“We are optimistic that sales performance will continue to rise when we do our grand opening in the first quarter of 2019 and as we develop the store’s awareness to the public,” Angala added.

DFPC earlier signed agreements with mobile payment providers WeChat and Alipay, in a bid to better reach the Chinese tourists market.

It has also entered into an agreement with Speed Regalo to cater to the e-commerce market.