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26 firms in Bataan economic zone closed shop in last 6 years

[ Manila Bulletin Online ] July 29, 2008

MARIVELES, Bataan -- Twenty-six companies, 23 of which were owned by foreign firms, have closed shop in the Bataan Economic Zone (BEZ) for the past six years, rendering thousands of people jobless, it was reported.

Aside from the thousands of displaced workers and office personnel, the government lost millions of pesos in income taxes, and rentals.

The reasons the companies ceased operation included labor problem, transfer to other countries where labor is cheap, bankruptcy, and lack of assistance by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

Since June 2002, based on the Zone Enterprise Directory, the companies that had stopped operation included Clement Textile Int’l Corp., a hospital linen-manufacturing firm owned by Taiwanese; Asahi Corp., Fiberglass container making firm, 100 percent owned by Japanese; Arts 21 Corp., bags and accessories making firm, 100 percent owned by Filipino; Crismina Garments Inc., denim pants makers, 100 percent owned by Filipino; Da Won Manufacturing Corp., engaged in embroidery and owned by Koreans; Easy Fashion Corp., manufacturing children’s dresses, owned by Taiwanese; Gu Young Garments, a knitted garments-producing firm, 100 percent owned by Koreans; Hui Shung Philippines, Corp., producing edible soya oil, 100 percent owned by Taiwanese; JIT container, Inc., manufacturing plastic containers, owned by Filipino; Kam Nang Packaging House Inc., making plastic bags owned by Korean; Kasumi Apparel Ltd, a Taiwanese-owned firm making garments; Le Christine de Manila, a Taiwanese-owned firm engaged in the manufacture of hospital accessories; L&L Lawrence Footwear, engaged in making rubber shoes owned by Korean; Mikuni International, a joint venture of American and Japanese engaged in making basketballs and sports caps; Mok Yang Philppines, engaged in making wearing apparel, owned by Korean;

Otoo Apparel Inc., a garments firm owned by Japanese; Paramount Footwear Co., a Korean shoe-manufacturing firm that had 1,507 workers and office personnel; Pasig Industries Inc., a Japanese-owned firm engaged in the making of fashion gloves and sunglasses; Phil.-Italian Synthetic Leather Corp., a joint venture of Filipinos and Italians, engaged in producing synthetic leather; Phil-Korea Sports Corp., a joint venture of Koreans and Filipinos engaged in the manufacture leather garments; Qualitek-Delta Phil., an American firm engaged in making soldering products; Reepar Manufacturing Corp., a Filipino-owned garments firm; Silk Manufacturing Corp., a Japanese owned firm, manufacturing silk fabrics for kimono; Shinten Phil. Co., Inc., a Japanese-owned firm engaged in the manufacture and assembly of burning equipment, sorting, cleaning and washing tray; Summit Camping Corp., a Korean firm manufacturing backpacks; Supreme Packaging Inc., a Filipino-owned firm engaged in the manufacture of corrugated cartoons and boxes; United Hong Kong-Phil. Corp., a joint venture of British, Chinese and Filipino businessmen, engaged in the manufacture of men’s, ladies’ and children’s underwear; and Yusung Adventure Corp., a Korean-owned firm engaged in the manufacture of backpacks and traveling bags.

Because of the lamentable condition of BEZ whose facilities are dilapidated, Congressman Abet S. Garcia has moved for the conversion, through House Bill No. 1425, of BEZ into the Bataan special economic zone and freeport, which is supported already by both chambers of Congress.

Garcia’s action is the best way to "rescue BEZ" from its lamentable situation because it is lagging behind in terms of development, and number of investors and employees compared to other economic zones in the country.

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