A TOTAL of $6 million has been committed by Datian Subic Shoes, Inc., manufacturer of popular shoe brands like Vans and Keds, to expand its multimillion-dollar operations in the Subic Bay Freeport.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Wilma Eisma welcomed Datian’s expansion project.
Eisma said the company plans to hire 1,500 additional employees for the new project.
“Although we have experienced a downturn in employment last year because of the layoffs at Hanjin shipyard, we believe that Subic can easily make a rebound because a lot of companies like Datian Subic have been expanding and hiring more skilled workers,” she said.
Eisma said that the company has leased a 29,400-square meter property to extend its existing 42,749-square meter facility at the Subic Bay Gateway Park (SBGP) Phase II.
The company plans to use half of the $6-milllion expansion investment to build another factory building in two years, Eisma also said.
Datian Subic initially invested $10 million in 2017 for its first manufacturing facility at the Gateway Park.
As of February this year, the company already employs 3,698 workers.
The company produces shoes under global brands like Keds, Converse, Sperry, and Vans for the American market, as well as Hugo Boss and Dr. Martens for the European market.
Its Subic factory integrates assembly lines for stitching, rubber compounding, outsoles molding, insoles and arches sponging, rubber gluing, as well as foxing operations.
Company officials said the existing factory produces an average of 350,000 pairs of shoes per month.
Eisma said that the SBMA expects more expansion projects among Subic business locators, following the current shift in production from China to other countries in Southeast Asia because of the ongoing trade war between China and the United States.
“The current tax incentives being offered by the SBMA to foreign manufacturing companies is another factor for this expansion surge,” Eisma added, pointing out that expansion projects last year amounted to a whooping P25 billion in committed investments from existing business locators. (Ric Sapnu)