GT Cosmetics breaks ground on new plant

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Monday, August 25, 2014


HOMEGROWN beauty care product maker GT Cosmetics Manufacturing is working to increase its soap production by 300 percent in preparation for a projected increase in demand from Southeast Asian nations with the full regional integration happening in 2015.

The company recently broke ground on its third manufacturing plant in a 3,320-square meter property in Barangay Tayud, Liloan.
GT Cosmetics owner and national sales manager Leonora B. Salvane said the plant, which is projected to start operations in the middle of next year, is expected to increase the current daily production of 6,000 soaps ten-fold.

Salvane said the decision to open another facility was prompted by the request of Watsons, a personal care firm partly owned by mall operator SM Prime Holdings Inc., to increase GT Cosmetics’ present supply since it is planning to add more products in its stores across Southeast Asia.

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“Watsons requested us to expand our volume…We told Watsons that we will be ready. (We) will be adding more products to their existing outlets,” she said.

At present, GT Cosmetics maintains a combined daily soap production of 12,000 pieces from their Liloan and Batangas facilities. The former produces soap for Visayas and Mindanao while the latter produces for Luzon. The figure is already a mix of their carrot, papaya and bleaching soaps.

The third plant, the biggest among the three, will be in need of 80 employees. Salvane said their facility in Barangay Kalubihan in Liloan, which employs around 50 people, will be transferring to the new plant once it starts to operate.

The Tayud plant will cost not less than P50 million.

She said the company is still looking into what it will do with the Kalubihan facility. Last June, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources stopped the operation of GT Cosmetics’ Kalubihan plant with reports of foul odor coming from the plant’s drainage.
On the same day of the ground breaking ceremony, lawyer Magnificus V. Cañete spoke in behalf of the opposition during the public hearing for the Tayud plant and cited the bad odor produced in GT Cosmetics’ Kalubihan plant as well as the complaint of neighbors.
Cañete is from Barangay Tayud.

Salvane explained that the odor was caused by the plant’s industrial wastes getting mixed with the neighboring houses’ domestic wastes.

“We challenge them (opposition) to get a water sample from our end and compare it with the quality of water sa kanang ilang giingon nga nabaho para at least ma justify unta ba pero wala nila buhata. Maong nibaho kay na connect man gud na sa mga houses’ septic vaults. Ang nakabaho ana ang sa domestic wastes,” Salvane said.

Compliance

She said the Kalubihan plant will open anytime soon since they have already complied with the requirement for a waste water treatment facility for their industrial wastes. The company is also working on addressing the domestic wastes produced by the employees of the Kalubihan plant. GT Cosmetics is still waiting for DENR’s permit to resume operations.

Cañete later on clarified that he is not against the establishment of the Tayud plant since it will generate employment and open business opportunities to the community. However, he saod that GT Cosmetics should install a waste water treatment facility in the new plant to avoid what happened in Kalubihan.

Salvane ensured that they will be installing a waste water treatment facility in Tayud. The acquired land where the new plant will rise is also identified as an industrial site where a separate drainage for industrial wastes has been installed.

The closing of the Kalubihan plant cut down the company’s sales by 25 percent, said Salvane. To meet the demand, employees in the Bantangas plant are working overtime.

GT Cosmetics products are also present in countries like Japan, Canada, and United States through GT Cosmetics International. JOG

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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