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PIA Press Release
2009/06/18

Local employment to go up with opening of Norwegian company before yearend

by Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (18 June) -- A Norwegian hydraulic company is set to open its doors in Valencia's Special Economic Zone before the year ends.

The Valencia Hydraulic Systems Technology, a multi-million Norwegian-owned company that fabricates underwater equipment parts, will soon operate in Valencia anytime this year, said Des Tilos, Valencia information officer.

Construction of the company's building in the Special Economic Zone in Valencia started last year and is now in the finishing stages.

Hiring for the company workers is currently ongoing, said Tilos, as the company needs around 50 specialized welders and local laborers.

The Provincial Integrated Skills Training Crenter (PISTC) will train the hired workers to match the required skills needed by the VHST, said Tilos.

The Valencia municipal government is the first local government unit in Negros Oriental to put up a Special Economic Zone which will occupy a 20-hectare area in Barangay Palinpinon.

This developed after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her 2006 State of the Nation Address cited Valencia's potential to be the electronics capital of the Philippines.

"Valencia could attract semiconductor firms with power rates subsidized by the geothermal field of Palinpinon," the President said in her SONA.

Valencia is enjoying power subsidy as a result of royalties being a geothermal host municipality.

With the first foreign investor to start operating this year, the municipal government is inviting investors both foreign and local to operate in the town's special economic zone and avail of the low power rates.

Employment

Valencianons are already benefitting from the perks of having a special economic zone in the area in terms of jobs.

The municipal government last year hired around 100 laborers from the locality to work on the construction of the building that will soon be occupied by Valencia Hydraulic Systems Technology this year.

Local employment will spike even more after the company hires local skilled workers for the fabrication of underwater equipment parts.

Mayor Gonzalez has noted that with the special economic zone in the area, more job opportunities will open up for Valencianons, which is the main goal behind its creation.

"We are also eyeing to invited business process outsourcing companies to set up shops in the zone," said Tilos.

During the signing of the memorandum of agreement in the middle of last year between the LGU and Norwegian investor Leif Ingar Akerlund, the latter said that the peace and order in the locality has encouraged him to put up his company in Valencia.

He also cited the low power cost and the "skilled and hardworking Filipinos" to be among the foremost factors why his company will soon open its door in Valencia.

At least 53,000 new jobs are expected to open up nationwide after two Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan packages will be signed during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's June 17-20 working visit in Japan.

In a media interview at the Imperial Hotel here, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Margarito Teves said the new soft loan packages will be sourced from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as conduits. (PIA/RMN) [top]

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