Philippines says closure of Honda carmaker’s plant has little impact on economy

MANILA (Xinhua) – The spokesman of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that the decision of Japanese carmaker Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI) to close its manufacturing plant in the Philippines in March has “minimal” impact on the economy.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo was reacting to the announcement of HCPI, which locally produces two models for Honda, BR-V, and the City, on Saturday that it will stop production operations in its plant in Sta Rosa, Laguna province, in March 2020.

At least 387 workers will be out of work after the plant is shut down.

“Perhaps, the impact is just minimal. There are many companies that are coming in,” Panelo said in a radio interview.

Panelo said the displaced workers can easily find jobs in the country, saying there are many infrastructure projects that are ongoing under the “Build, Build, Build” projects. “To meet Honda’s customer needs in the Philippines for reasonably priced and good quality products, Honda considered efficient allocation and distribution of resources,” Honda said in a statement.

HCPI said it will continue its automobile sales and after-sales service operation in the Philippines, through the utilisation of Honda’s Asia and Oceania regional network.

The manufacturing plant began operations in 1992. However, news reports said the company sales have been on a decline for at least two years.

A Honda vehicle on the road. PHOTO: AP