Computer chip giant Intel Corp. is set to consolidate its operations in the Philippines this year which would lead to the closure of its manufacturing facility in Makati.
Intel Corp. president and chief operating officer Paul S. Otellini said that the consolidation is expected to take place in the third quarter of the year. Mr. Otellini is in town to visit operations in the country.
"The plan is to consolidate our activities in Cavite where we have newer technology. We'll see as we move. We expect to complete that by July or August this year," he said.
Intel Philippines is also currently maximizing operational efficiency where it has resorted to scaling down some portions of its production line to save on costs. The move is not connected to the cost-cutting measures being undertaken by electronics firms.
In a separate interview with BusinessWorld, Intel Corp. general manager Robin Martin said while the Makati assembly plant will be closed down, the company will be increasing the capacity of the Cavite facility which will require significant investments.
He, however, declined to disclose how much the company expects to save with the planned consolidation as well as the number of people to be retrenched.
"Obviously in any consolidation activity, there would be a resulting savings in costs. What we want to do is to make sure that we will be able to bring in anyone who wants to come to Cavite who are from Makati. That's our target. And the good thing is that volumes are also obviously increasing and we're seeing growth," he said.
Mr. Martin said Intel will be expanding capacity and introducing 300- millimeter technologies including the Pentium III and Pentium 4 products which are the latest products of the company.
Meanwhile, Mr. Otellini assured the government that the company will continue to invest in the Philippines despite the slowdown in the electronics industry.
This year, Intel Corp. will spend $100 million for capacity expansion and technology.