MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—has unveiled its new distribution center in Manila, jumpstarting a series of bullish investments for 2021. The facility is part of CCBPI’s continuous expansion of its nationwide footprint, as the Company remains true to its longstanding commitment to support economic recovery and growth.
Formally inaugurated on January 18, 2021, the new Coca-Cola Manila distribution center will be utilizing a smart logistics system, promoting innovative and advanced technologies in the country, and will thus serve as a model site for all Coca-Cola distribution centers. The new site will also be a testing hub for all process and capability improvements to be rolled out to the rest of Coca-Cola distribution facilities across the country.
“We have something really in common with the City of Manila—our vision, our commitment to try and rebuild, restart the economy and small businesses, is hugely important to us in CCBPI. In fact, we believe that we are only as strong as the communities that we serve and the communities that we operate in,” said Gareth McGeown, CEO and President of CCBPI.
“Our people remain as the heart of our business. It has been [that way] for the last 108 years, it will be for the next 108. Our commitment to you [Mayor Isko Moreno], is that we will continue to be a responsible citizen and partner to the Great City of Manila. We look forward to many more investments in the future, and to your continued support,” said McGeown.
To help stimulate job creation in the City of Manila, all of the regular employees of the Manila Distribution Center are Manila residents. This aligns with a Company principle, as well as an action impact study which observed that the Company strives to create more opportunities in the communities it operates in: for every one direct job at the Coca-Cola bottling arm, the Company generates seven more across its value chain.
“So it’s true like what the song said, you keep coming back to Manila,” said Manila Mayor Isko Moreno during the inauguration ceremony, pertaining to Coca-Cola’s return in the city from the establishment of its first bottling facility in the Philippines 100 years ago.
“This pandemic taught us so many things. Value to one’s life, value to family, value to health and safety. We have learned a lot from both our achievements and shortcomings during the pandemic, but we are sure that what will help us more in the coming months are jobs,” continued the Manila Mayor. “We are optimistic that in one way or another, business will bounce back. So in return for the trust that Coca-Cola is giving us, we [will] ensure that we [the Manila government] will be efficient as we overcome the pandemic together.”
As part of its plan to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the pandemic, the city continues to empower and support the livelihood of Manileños, recording almost 1,000 newly registered businesses for the first three weeks of January 2021.
Mayor Moreno also expressed his gratitude for Coca-Cola’s trust in the City of Manila, and his hopes for an extension of the distribution center to help the Company cater to the demands of its customers.
The Mayor threw his full support for CCBPI’s newest distribution site, assuring Company personnel present at the turnover, “I know for a fact, magtatagumpay ang Coca-Cola sa Maynila. [I know for a fact that Coca-Cola will succeed in Manila.]”
During the inauguration, CCBPI presented the local government of Manila with a refurbished fire truck for the San Andres fire volunteers. Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, Councilor Mon Yupangco, and Ting Yupangco also attended the inauguration.
Bullish investments and empowered employment
CCBPI believes that it can have a considerable role to play in helping mitigate the economic and unemployment crisis by implementing immediate job creation, among other socio-economic initiatives. The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) projects an increase in the working-age population in 2021, thus the need for at least half a million new jobs in the country.
The Company has likewise been helping Filipinos weather the effects of the pandemic, via strengthened internal policies and outreach programs. CCBPI ensured that the jobs of all of its 15,000 employees across the country are secure, and that they are protected with comprehensive medical coverage so they can continue providing for their own families. The Company also expanded its Balik Pinas program last year, which provides employment opportunities for OFWs returning to the country.
CCBPI’s investment outlook was not dampened by the pandemic—aside from the new Manila hub, CCBPI has established additional manufacturing lines, with a significant amount allocated to increase capacity in Mindanao by 30%, as result of its additional $22 million investment in 2020.
Making even greater impact, the company is on track with PETValue Philippines, located in General Trias, Cavite, the country’s first bottle-to-bottle, food-grade recycling facility utilizing world-class technologies that is expected to be operational by Q1 of 2022.
Through notable investments, support for economic growth, and the continuous pursuit of a World Without Waste, CCBPI has proven to be an industry leader exemplifying purpose beyond profit—advancing with and for the Filipinos.