Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pres. Aquino inaugurates Coca-Cola plant expansion project

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday (Nov. 3) led the inauguration of Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines’ US$95-million plant expansion project in Canlubang, Calamba in Laguna province.

In his speech, the President, a self-proclaimed Coke drinker, thanked one of the world’s largest soda companies for its “ubiquitous” presence in the country since it began operating in 1912.

“That commitment has never wavered,” he said, citing the five-year US$1-billion investment pledged by Coca-Cola Pacific Group president Glenn Jordan in 2010.

“This announcement was especially heartening since, at the time, my Cabinet and I were heavily preoccupied with issues of corruption that we seemed to unearth every day,” he said.

He recalled that the problems that his administration had inherited appeared so vast that they thought it would take at least two years before the Philippines could start reaping the fruits of reform.

“Thanks to investors like you, we were able to jump-start the resurgence of the economy much sooner than anticipated,” he added.

President Aquino announced that the Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, together with the Coca-Cola Export Corporation, has already surpassed the US$1 billion target as early as January 2013, with a total investment of US$1.2 billion.

These investments include the expansion of the Canlubang plant, the rehabilitation of the Tacloban Plant, the upgrade of the Misamis Oriental Plant, and the acquisition of a new facility in Davao del Sur.

The President further announced that Coca-Cola has committed to invest another US$500 million for facility upgrades and other improvements by 2015.

“I believe that these kinds of strategic investments will ensure your longevity and your continued success,” he said.

The Chief Executive also thanked Coca-Cola for extending help in the government’s relief and rehabilitation efforts during the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year.

“Happiness is your mission, and it is clear to me that it is not a gimmick: Coca-Cola FEMSA has brought happiness to thousands affected by Yolanda; to 8,000 men and women who can return to their homes every day content with the knowledge that they are earning a decent and respectable livelihood; and to millions more Filipinos whose lives you have affected, in one way or another,” he said.

In return, the President assured that Coca Cola has a “steady partner” in the government.

Before his speech, the President had a brief tour of the 3.3-hectare plant, which houses three new bottling lines considered to be the fastest in the world.  (PCOO News Release)

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