TANAUAN, Leyte, (PNA) – Food and beverage firm Monde Nu Agri Corp. will reconstruct the New Leyte Edible Oil Manufacturing Corp. in this town after Japan’s Fuji Oil Co. gave up on rebuilding the facility badly damaged by supertyphoon “Yolanda” in 2013.
Mayor Pelagio Tecson confirmed that Monde has decided to acquire the facility and reconstruct it for processing of coconut-based food products.
“They have already conducted public scoping in Tanauan. They are even planning to relocate their corporate office to our town,” Tecson told reporters.
Reconstruction will kick off next year and it will be operational in 2017. The official, however, is not privy to divulge the total investment.
The plant is expected to generate 500 jobs in this typhoon-ravaged town. This will also motivate farmers to replant after the powerful typhoon uprooted and sheared millions of coconut trees in Eastern Visayas, according to the mayor.
PCA Regional Manager Reynato Dubongco said that areas within 50-kilometer radius from the plant are the priority for massive rehabilitation. For their initial operation, the firm will get their raw products in Southern Leyte and Samar provinces.
“We have drafted a roadmap to support their operation because they want assurance of quality nuts to sustain their operation in the next years,” Dubongco told PNA.
Last year, Fuji Oil Co., maker of food products based on oil and fat, decided to give up reconstruction of a plant in Leyte after the super typhoon.
Fuji Oil, based in Osaka Prefecture in Japan, used the site of the subsidiary, New Leyte Edible Oil Manufacturing Corp., as a base for marketing and material procurement in the Philippines. The firm is the major shareholder of the oil plant, with a share of 86.7 percent.
The plant, which occupies a 4.2 hectare-lot near the shoreline, was established in 1992. It produced coconut oil for Japanese confectionery and bread makers.
The firm bought copra from farmers as raw materials. In 2013, it has a paid-in-capital of PHP507 million, according to Fuji Oil’s website.
Unlike the old plant, Monde will buy fresh whole nuts to produce various coco-based food products.
Monde Nu Agri Corp., with corporate offices in Pasig City, has been producing virgin coconut oil, coco water and beverages, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flour, and coconut sauces. (PNA)
JMC/SARWELL Q. MENIANO