Virgin Cola Bottling Plant at El Salvador City

Members of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Industries (COCI) express optimism that the current year will be “far better than 2009”.

In a survey conducted among its 14-member industries, COCI President Jerome Soldevilla said the group gave an overall positive economic outlook for the “Year of the Tiger”.

COCI indicates that while doing business will continue to remain tough, the prospects would be much better as the global economy is expected to improve a bit from the serious crunch experienced last year.

Major export processing plants such as the Philippine Sinter Corporation (PSC) and Mindanao Silicon Metals Inc. project at least a 10% increase in their outputs. Roger Lim of PSC cited reports of better global forecasts for the steel industry. Moreover, RI Chemicals also reported that the company remains bullish as it projects a 10% increase in sales volume owing to a consistently strong domestic market.

Beverage giant Asia Brewery is also looking at a decent growth in production volume of its plant in Mindanao this year as it moves towards expanding its local market shares. It is confident to sustain the positive performance or even surpass production targets to a leap of 5 to 10% for this year.

Meanwhile, wood processor CATIMCO group indicates a major shift towards production of finished and semi-finished wood products as global competition worldwide gets stiffer. CATIMCO group representative Prudencio Plaza said that the wood industry needs to innovate more as raw materials become scarce and the market expands to include the use of alternative construction materials.

Although sales volume for some companies paint a promising forecast, the manufacturing sector as a whole is faced with a serious concern of increased production cost.

Apollo Alavanza of Del Monte Philippines acknowledged that while there is a robust global market for its products, the company has to pursue more innovative measures to sustain its market leadership amidst rising cost of inputs. Cagayan de Oro based Coca-Cola bottlers Philippines also share the same view adding that it will continue to be more responsive to the growing market trends particularly in the beverage industry.

Leoncio Ang of Limketkai Manufacturing indicates that domestic supply of raw material for its Marca Leon oil products is a concern that needs to be addressed as the local coconut industry continues to be saddled with issues of low productivity.

COCI also voice concerns on the rising cost of fuel and electricity. It has earlier approved a proposed resolution calling for a review of the planned privatization of the hydro electric power plants in Mindanao as the same is expected to increase further cost of electricity and hamper the manufacturing industries competitiveness. COCI is also asking concerned local government units to suspend any planned increase in local taxations especially at this time when cost of doing business is continually on the rise.

COCI is an association of manufacturing industries in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental. Established in 1980, the group serves as a mechanism to collectively address major concerns faced by the manufacturing sector. Its members include Asia Brewery, CATIMCO, Coca-Cola, Del Monte Phils., LKKS Manufacturing, Nestle Phils., Phil Agro, PICMW, Pilipinas Kao, RI Chemicals, Mindanao Silicon, STEAG State Power Inc, and Elegant Chemical Alloy. (PIA)

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