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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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)