The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, pledged to increase investments to the Philippines by $1 billion during the next five years. The commitment was conveyed by Coca-Cola Pacific Group President Glenn Jordan directly to the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino Jr., during a meeting in New York while President Aquino Jr. was in the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly and to attract foreign investors to the Philippines.
During the meeting with President Aquino Jr., Jordan shared some of the developments of Coca-Cola's operations in the Philippines, including the ongoing construction of a bottling facility in Misamis Oriental. The plant, scheduled to begin operations next year, will be one of the largest plants in the region, the company said.
Coca-Cola Philippines recorded double-digit growth in the first half of 2010, led by its flagship brand Coca-Cola. The company also has expanded its portfolio of beverages. In the last six months it has launched Samurai energy drink and the ready-to-drink tea Real Leaf, brewed from 100 percent whole green tea leaves. In addition, the company plans to expand Minute Maid.
Coca-Cola, which operates 23 plants and 42 sales offices with more than 7,800 direct employees across the Philippines, will focus its new investment on strengthening marketing execution and enhancing system logistics and delivery capabilities in order to better serve the company's expanding customer and consumer base. The Philippines bottling operation is among the biggest 10 Coca-Cola bottlers globally.
Part of the new investment also will help expand the reach of Coca-Cola’s corporate social responsibility initiatives benefitting the local communities. Coca-Cola has built more than 80 Little Red Schoolhouses in remote areas of the Philippines, with the first opening in 1997. In addition, and in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, Coca-Cola supports several environmental programs in the Philippines. A project between the Departments of Science, Technology and Education and Coca-Cola aims at minimizing iron deficiency among school-age children through the distribution of a nutritional juice as well.