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Honda plant shutdown to have ‘minimal’ economic impact — Panelo

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 02:07 PM February 23, 2020
palace Panelo

Presidential spokesperson
Salvador Panelo. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The closing down of a manufacturing plant of Japanese carmaker Honda in Laguna will have a “minimal” impact on the country’s economy, the Malacañang assured Sunday.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who is not an economist, assured that there are many foreign investors still coming into the country.

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“Siguro minimal lang ‘yun, madami namang kumpanyang pumapasok,” he said in an interview in Radyo INQUIRER.

As to the 387 workers who will be displaced by the shutdown, Panelo said they could apply for works made available by projects under the government’s “Build, Build, Build,” program.

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“We’ll have to look for jobs for them. Kaya nga tayo maroong mga ‘Build Build Build’ projects para ‘yung ibang nadi-displace, makakapasok sa ibang trabaho,” he said.

He also countered accusations that the increased excise tax on vehicles was what prompted the firm to shut down its plant, coupled with high inflation rates that hurt consumer demand for new cars.

“Bakit naman ‘yung iba hindi nagsa-shutdown? Baka hindi naman, baka nalulugi sila. Baka walang bumibili, baka kumonti ang bumibili sa kanila,” Panelo said.

The manufacturing plant began operations in 1992. It currently locally produces two models for Honda — the BR-V, and the City.

Data shows that company sales have been on a decline for at least two years in a row.

Honda showed a 26.7 percent drop in volume sales in 2018 to 23,294 units, and then further dropping by nearly 13 percent to 20,338 units in 2019.

READ: Honda to shut down Laguna plant

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TAGS: economic impact, Honda, Malacañang, Panelo, shutdown
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