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Norkis stops assembling Yamaha motorbikes

Balita | Lunes, Hunyo 18, 2007

Norkis stops assembling Yamaha motorbikes

The Norkis Trading Co. (NTC) has filed a notice to cease its production and assembly operations of Yamaha motorcycles before the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Charito A. Calumpang, NTC managing head for human resources management and development, informed DOLE 7 Director Elias Cayanong that about 364 permanent executives and rank-and-file employees were offered early retirement packages.

The NTC is about 10 percent of the entire assets of the Norkis Group of Companies (NGC) and has been the flagship company of Industrialist Norberto Quisumbing Jr. for 45 years.

NTC Consultant Willie E. Capulong said the firm decided to end its production and assembly operations of Yamaha motorcycles in the Philippines upon the expiration of NTC’s Technical Collaboration Agreement with Yamaha Motors Co. Ltd. of Japan next month.

Calumpang said the closure will take effect on July 15, 30 days after the closure notice was filed with DOLE 7 on June 8.

Although the assembly of Yamaha two-wheel products will be closed, NTC will remain as a major Yamaha dealer using its more than 200 branch networks nationwide that specialize in retail-financing.

Starting Sept. 1, Capulong said the assembly of Yamaha motorcycles will be undertaken by Yamaha Motors Philippines, a wholly owned venture of Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. of Japan.

"Norkis is offering an early retirement package for all its executives, employees and allied services or support groups affected by the company’s decision," Capulong said.

Capulong attributed the non-renewal of the assembly operations by NTC mainly to the zero-tariff policy of the government as the result of the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).

Under this system, Yamaha of Japan can ship motorcycles or motorcycle parts for assembly to the Philippines without paying duties and taxes to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The second reason is the soon to be implemented Japan-Philippines Free Trade Agreement which allow Japanese manufacturers to export into the country finished products without any tariff coverage.

Director Asteria Caberte of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-7 was saddened by the closure of Norkis motorcycle plant because hundreds of highly-paid workers will lose their jobs.

BOC Port of Cebu District Collector Ricardo Belmonte said the NTC has paid close to P300 million a year in duties and taxes for six years already.

"Norkis is our consistent number one taxpayer for several years already and the closure of its motorcycle plant can affect our effort to meet the P4.6 billion revenue target for the year 2007," Belmonte said. (PNA)

 source: Balita