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Knauf Gypsum Philippines, a family-owned German company with strong global presence in the construction materials industry, has begun construction of its manufacturing plant here.

In a report on Monday, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Calabarzon regional office disclosed that the Knauf Gypsum plant is located inside the Phoenix Petroterminal and Industrial Park in Barangay Lumbang Calzada in Calaca, Batangas.

DTI Calabarzon and Batangas local government officials welcomed the investment as this will be the country’s first gypsum board and gypsum-based product manufacturing plant using the most innovative and sophisticated German equipment and technology.

“The investment of Knauf is really timely because the government is also funding our infrastructure under the Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade (ROLL IT) Program led by DTI and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH),” said DTI Calabarzon Regional Director Marilou Q. Toledo.

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Toledo also said that the damaged and nearly-impassable roads leading to industries and trade development areas in every region will soon be addressed.

“If the company has problems with road expansion to bring products to the market or to the nearest port, you may seek assistance from DTI and DPWH, and we will work closely with the municipal mayor to draft and submit proposal as the government is aggressive right now in making the Philippines as investment hub,” he assured.

First Secretary for Cultural Affairs of the German Embassy Thorsten Gottfried remarked during the groundbreaking rites that “the new Knauf Gypsum Manufacturing Plant-Philippines allows local production and will provide the local economy with high-quality building materials.”

Gottfried added that the plant will further improve the living and working conditions of the country.

Calaca Mayor Sofronio Manuel Ona noted that “last year, the municipality of Calaca was recognized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry as one of the most business-friendly municipalities in the Philippines and it is in this occasion that we truly feel we deserve this recognition. Calaca’s strength is not only our location, but it is our people that is our biggest asset.”

With 220 production facilities and sales organizations in over 60 countries, 26,000 employees worldwide, and sales of 6.27 billion Euros (in 2013), the Knauf Group is one of the biggest players in the gypsum manufacturing market – in Europe, the USA, South America, Russia, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Knauf is a manufacturer of complete lightweight construction systems with its diverse range of products that include plasterboards, mineral fiber tiles, acoustic boards, plasters for internal and external applications, glass and rock mineral wool insulation, and other products and systems designed to provide solutions for fire, water, moisture, impact, acoustics, and aesthetic applications for commercial and residential construction projects.

Officials said Calaca is home to the lively “Calacatchara Festival,” a contraction from Calaca and atchara or chutney, a Philippine appetizer specialty made from papaya.

The urbanization level of Calaca is 9 percent, while the rural area urbanization is 91 percent. Despite its rural character, Calaca has a great prospect for further development with the inflow of investments into the area.

Since the Nov. 29, 2016 signing, the DTI and DPWH Memorandum of Agreement is now creating a Convergence Program on road connectivity for industry and trade development.

The MOA establishes working arrangement between the DTI and the DPWH to jointly undertake the planning, budgeting, advocacy for legislation, identification, evaluation, prioritization, regulation, supervision, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of industry-developing infrastructure projects in priority economic and manufacturing zones in the Philippines.

Gracing the ground breaking rites were Executive Director Peter Kompalla of the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Marissa Argente, DTI-Batangas Provincial Director; Batangas Vice Governor Sofronio Leonardo Ona;

Knauf Manufacturing Plant site manager Norbert Wagner; Sales, marketing and technical director for Knauf South East Asia Jack Ryan; Erwin Deem, national sales and marketing manager of Knauf Gypsum Philippines and Amby Sabio, finance manager, Knauf Gypsum Philippines;

Calaca Vice Mayor Renante Macalindong and the Sangguniang Bayan council members; Municipal Health Director Dr. Marjolyne Ona; Barangay Lumbang Calzada chief Severino Malabanan (MVC/PNA)

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