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04 December 2008

Taiwanese lockmaker opens $5-M new Subic plant; targets export of 1 million locksets a month

Taiwanese company Tong Lung (Phils.) Metal Industry Co. Ltd., a designer and maker of doorknob and lock sets, recently unveiled its new $5-million zinc-die casting and plating facility here, targeting the production and export of one million lock sets a month.

Tong Lung Chairman Tony Ho said that despite the global economic recession, the company looks forward to making its offshore facility in Subic its the second primary base in Asia.

Tong Lung, which was founded in Taiwan in 1954, exports its products to various markets in Asia, America, Europe and Africa. Both its Taiwan factory and Subic unit undertake production using computer-aided design and automated precision machinery.

"Although the global economy seems to be in an economic recession period, I am happy to announce the expansion of our facility," Ho said during the inauguration of the new Tong Lung plant at the Subic Bay Gateway Park here.

"We now have a thousand suppliers and sub-contractors, and I hope to see that the Subic plant will become the second base for hardware production for Tong Lung Co. in Asia," he added.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza, who joined Ho in inaugurating the new plant, noted that groundbreaking for the $5-million facility was done only late last year.

"Now, the new facility is set for production and we're thankful to Tong Lung for manifesting in a very concrete way its confidence in the Subic Bay Freeport," Arreza said.

Chung Yu Wang, the firm's vice chairman, said meanwhile that the firm's new facility in Subic will open up 1,000 new jobs when fully operational.

He also cited the company's "very solid relationship" with its Filipino workers, saying this paved the way to Tong Lung's success.

Tong Lung's expansion in Subic, meanwhile, "enables us to provide more job opportunities to Filipinos," Wang added.

Aside from producing lock set brands like EZ Set, Passion and Lucky, the company also supplies products to tools-and-equipment specialist Black and Decker, said Wang.

The inauguration of Tong Lung's new facility was graced by John Co, an officer at the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), as well as representatives from Black and Decker. Aside from Arreza, Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon, Jr. and Zambales Vice-Gov. Anne Gordon joined Ho and Co in inaugurating the new plant.

Arreza noted that Tong Lung is one of the pioneering investors in Subic, and had since expanded operations in this free port.

"As you can see, Tony Ho is not just a million-dollar man. He is indeed a man of action. When he said that he is ready to go full force in Subic, he actually does that. And I'm very thankful for the support and confidence that you have shown us," Arreza said.

He added that the expansion by Tong Lung is "a very encouraging sign that Subic remains to be a competitive and viable investment destination."

"Tong Lung will be exporting about a million lock sets a month starting next year," Arreza said. "This additional production means more revenue for Subic, and these locksets mean more jobs," he added. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

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