(Eagle News) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking for “alternative options” to minimize the impact of the decision of Honda Cars Philippines to close its production in the country which will affect some 380 workers.
Honda, in a statement issued on Monday, Feb. 24, said that it would close its plant in Sta. Rosa Laguna effective this March.
It said that this is “to meet Honda’s customer needs in the Philippines for reasonably priced and good quality products.”
Trade and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez said that they were also told of the same reasons by Honda Philippines.
“We were told that they had to optimize the allocation and distribution of their resources in the region, which led them to decide to close the assembly of Honda City and BR-V models in Sta Rosa Laguna,” Lopez said in a statement.
Lopez said that Honda Cars Philippines may be facing challenges in keeping the cost competitiveness of their local assembly operators.
He said that he was meeting with the Honda Philippines officials so that they could consider alternative options to minimize the plant closure’s impact on the Filipino workers.
One option is also for DTI to study the need to impose safeguard duty and other measures to provide a level of support to local car assemblers.
Lopez said this after noting that the cost structure of Honda Philippines’ local car assembly, as “basically challenged.”
‘And there’s no tariff protection, thus making imports of vehicles as a cheaper alternative,” Lopez said.
Because of this, “vehicle imports have been growing, causing injury to local industry, from assembly to the local parts supply network in the country,” he added.