Steel Asia Group over the weekend said its steel mill when completed will provide employment to hundreds of local residents while ensuring environmental safety and protection.
The group, a consistent Top 100 taxpayer, directly employs thousands of employees and provides indirect job opportunities for thousands more, according to a statement.
Ben Yao, president and chief executive officer of the company, issued the statement in reaction to a published open letter by a group of oppositors identified as “Kadamay Plaridel,” which opposes Del Pilar Steel’s proposed steel rolling mill in Plaridel, Bulacan, north of Manila.
The Plaridel plant, envisioned to be the largest in the region, is expected to generate hundreds of direct employment opportunities.
Del Pilar Steel is part of the Steel Asia Group of Companies.
According to Yao, “contrary to the oppositors’ statements, Del Pilar Steel’s proposed steel mill will be a state-of-the-art, environment-friendly plant. It will be located in an industrial park established in the 1990s and incorporates measures that ensure clean emissions and self-sustainability through environmentally friendly processes.”
The Steel Asia Group is the biggest reinforcing steel bar manufacturer in the Philippines, with an annual capacity of two million metric tons and whose mission is to meet the country’s demand for steel by supplying the market with quality steel bars that meet stringent Philippine standards.
It has steel rolling mills in Bulacan, Batangas, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro City and Davao.
The Davao plant, built with approval of the city government, is one of the most modern plants in the country.
The group conducts its business in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations and in line with its strict good corporate governance principles.
The construction of the Plaridel, Bulacan, steel factory comes in the aftermath of complaints that the open and continuous importation of sub-standard steel products continues to affect Filipino investors who have put in billions of pesos to put up new and modern plants as part of their effort to establish a world-class steel industry that is responsive to the country’s needs and meets strict Philippine safety standards.
By locating its plants across the country and close to areas of growth, Steel Asia Group customers enjoy lower prices, thanks to savings in shipping costs.
This also helps the environment through reduction of emissions from transporting steel products.
Imported steel products reportedly dumped by China enjoy government subsidy that makes them cheaper than the raw materials from which they were produced. This then makes them cheaper than locally produced steel bars.
Filipino manufacturers, however, maintain that ‘cheaper does not mean safe.
They cited that imported steel bars, which are usually products of obsolete Chinese mills, have not been subjected to the same rigid testing undergone by local steel bars to ensure quality.