First and Biggest Local Mobile Phone Factory Now Under Construction in Batangas Science Park

The Light Industry and Science Park IV (LISP) in Malvar, Batangas is just 20% complete, but residents and motorists who are passing through Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway) in Malvar  are wondering about a massive ongoing construction inside the industrial zone.

Bulldozers, backhoes, and other heavy equipment are working 24/7 inside a tightly-secured 50-hectare compound, and residents have no idea what the construction workers are building for more than a month now until Monday.

According to the Municipal Engineer’s Office who issued the building and construction permit, the construction is for an unnamed local phone brand.

It was reported on December 2015 that a “purely-Philippine made and Philippine brand mobile phone” will be manufactured inside the country, but the name of the company was not revealed during the ground breaking ceremony that was attended by executives from a  two well-known corporations and from local tech giant – Xurpas.

Others suspected that it might be either MyPhone or Cherry Mobile, but the source said it is not.

Cherry Mobile, though claimed as Philippine-brand is 100% China made and rebranded in the Philippines. MyPhone on the other hand is manufactured by a Chinese manufacturing firm, Tinno Mobile Manufacturing Corporation.

A construction manager who is staying in an apartment owned by a relative of this writer said that the building they are constructing can house more than 50,000 employees.

“The name of the brand remained a secret, but information from head office said that this building will produce complete sets of mobile phones that are not yet  available in the market”, the manager said.

The name of the company listed in the Municipal Engineer’s Office is called “Xempre”, but the manager said he is not sure if it is also the name of the brand. He also said that people from Xurpas was present during the groundbreaking ceremony last January.

The 50-hectare complex is biggest inside the Philippines and almost the same size as Epson, located just few kilometers away inside Lima Technology Center, at the boundary of Lipa City and Malvar.  This Epson plant is the biggest among Epson plants outside Japan with more than 20,000 employees.

Although there are several mobile phone brands inside the country that claimed to be Philippine brands, none of these is made inside the Philippines

O+ claimed to be from USA but it was later revealed that it is also made in China, and is possibly originated from China due to its poor performance (unlike branded phones like LG, Samsung, Sony-Ericson, Nokia)

The construction according to the manager is expected to last until December 2016. He also said that the factory is owned by prominent local business groups that includes Ayala Corporation and Lopez Group of Companies. /Rene Lat/ Malvar, Batangas

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