AQUINO BACK FROM APEC; PHL GETS $5.45-BILLION INVESTMENTS
 

MANILA, NOVEMBER 17, 2010 (STAR) By Delon Porcalla - Returning yesterday from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Yokohama, Japan, President Aquino announced $5.45 billion worth of concrete and promised investments, which he said would open more jobs and opportunities for Filipinos.

“If my math is right, $5.45 billion is sure or almost sure, and there is a huge water project in the planning stage but is sure to bring in billions more,” Aquino said in Filipino in his arrival speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Of the $5.45 billion, $2.6 billion represents investments from Marubeni Corp., $122 million from Itochu Corp. for the establishment of a bio-ethanol plant in Isabela, and $133 million for the expansion of Toshiba Corp.’s facilities in the Philippines.

The Marubeni deal was in the form of a letter of intent (LOI) he signed in Japan with DTI Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr., which was for the expansion of power plants in Pagbilao, Quezon; Calaca, Batangas; and Sual in Pangasinan.

“It’s a splendid project, with 15,000 farmers to work on a land that used to be idle,” he said of the Isabela ethanol plant project. “I’m very delighted with this kind of project.”

Itochu’s $122-million investment is for the development of 11,000 hectares of sugarcane plantation in Isabela for bio-ethanol production. The project is expected to generate 18,000 jobs in two years and benefit some 15,000 farmers in the process.

Toshiba’s investment is for expansion of its electronics products facility in an economic zone.

The other $2.6 billion in new investments are still in the “final stages” of negotiations.

“Let me repeat – $2.85 billion is sure dollar inflow. The plans for the $2.6 billion have yet to be fine-tuned but they’re almost done,” a visibly elated Aquino said.

As for the energy-related investments, the President noted that their generation capacities would surpass the country’s reserves.

“Who wouldn’t be pleased? The electricity our industries badly need is already here. And of course, if there is abundant supply and the demand is just right, prices will be fair,” Aquino added.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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