CABUYAO, LAGUNA, August 8, 2005
 (STAR) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today hailed the return of Japanese electronic giant Uniden to and the expansion of its investments in the Philippines which, she said, is clear evidence of the confidence of foreign investors in the country.

President Arroyo visited Uniden Electronics Philippines 10-hectare office and plant-warehouse complex at the Light Industry and Science Park 1 (LISP 1) here this morning.

During her luncheon forum with the LISP 1 investors and chief executive officers at Mama Rosa restaurant here, the President said she is very elated with Unidenís return to the country, especially with "employment bigger than they originally had before they left."

Uniden left the Philippines and transferred its operations to China a couple of years ago in the wake of the global economic recession following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

The company returned and resumed actual operations at the LISP 1 on June 9, 2005 with some 1,500 employees initially hired. It projects to hire some 3,500 more workers before yearend and 8,000 more next year when it expands operations further.

The President was visibly happy while witnessing the actual processing of worker applicants. She even interacted with some 200 of the firmís newly hired employees who are undergoing job orientation at the company's function room before assuming their job assignments.

"Iím very grateful for this wonderful opportunity and I congratulate the people of Laguna for creating a very good investment climate. I also congratulate (Labor) Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas for providing good climate of industrial peace," she said.

President Arroyo said she is likewise very pleased by the business communityís acceptance of her newly appointed head of the Department of Trade and Industry -- Secretary Peter Favila.

"Iím quiet confident he (Favila) will be successful in bringing in more investments to our country especially here in CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) which is part of the administration's urban beltway," she added.

Favila and Sto. Tomas accompanied the President in her visit here. They were welcomed by Laguna Governor Teresita "Ningning" Lazaro, Cabuyao Mayor Nila G. Aguillo, Uniden Electronics Phils. Inc. president Yasutaka Sagiyama and assistant vice president for operations Takeo Fukui.

Also on hand to welcome the President were Robert Scott, president and CEO of ITT Industry and Goulds Pump; Pastor T. Lorenzo, executive vice president and general manager of Science Park of the Philippines Inc. (SPPI), LISP owner-developer; and Richard Osmond, regional development council CALABARZON chair and SPPI vice president for corporate affairs.

LISP 1 president and chairman Danilo C. Lachica assured the President that the entire investors from CALABARZON support her leadership despite the controversies and wild allegations against her by her detractors.

Immediately upon arrival here, the President viewed the scale model of the Uniden complex and made a tour inspection at its chip-mount production area and the companyís assembly line. She also inspected the firmís finished products that were being packaged and readied for export.

Unidenís product lines include high-end cordless telephone, radio and television sets.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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