By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 14, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPHC) of the Lopez family is looking to expand its industrial estate footprint outside Batangas in hopes of attracting more foreign direct investments (FDI) to the country.
In an interview, FPHC president and chief operating officer Elpidio Ibañez told The STAR the company is mulling to develop industrial estates in new territories in the country.
“We’re looking at acquisition, We’re also looking outside Batangas,” Ibañez said, without identifying specific areas.
“Because all of the investors, especially the Japanese, are attracted to come in, we have to be ready for them. We have to attract FDIs. We have to have the land, otherwise they will not come in,” he added.
FPHC at present operates an industrial park in Santo Tomas, Batangas through First Philippine Industrial Park Inc. (FPIP) - a joint venture with Sumitomo Corp. of Japan.
The company in January this year acquired through an auction a 46-hectare property located at the Philtown Industrial Park in Tanauan, Batangas which is adjacent to the company’s existing industrial park.
Ibañez said the firm has earmarked P1.4 billion for the development and expansion of its Batangas industrial estate.
“We will continue to expand. It’s hard to say up to what the size because it all depends on what is available,” he said.
In an earlier interview, Ibañez said the company is eyeing to expand its industrial park in Batangas to as large as 2,000 hectares to make it at par with the size of industrial estates in other Asian countries.
As a premier industrial park in the country, the 450-hectare FPIP houses multinationals in electronic and semiconductors manufacturing, solar cells and aircraft components manufacturing, plastic and metal engineering, consumer goods manufacturing, as well as other technology-based sectors.
The Lopez-led firm has been aggressive in pursuing investments in industrial estates to help create more local jobs as well as boost the country’s economy.
FPHC said its planned initial expansion within the next four years would provide an additional 20,000 jobs to the 40,000 already generated by its existing ecozone.