By Belinda Otordoz

BOOSTING FOOD SECURITY. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (seated, center) and Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas (seated, left) grace the inauguration of the Mega Manufacturing Plant in Santo Tomas town, Batangas province on Wednesday (March 1, 2023). The manufacturing plant is expected to strengthen the food security campaign of the province and has employed more than 1,000 residents. (Photo courtesy of Batangas PIO)

CITY OF STO. TOMAS, Batangas – More than 1,000 residents of this city and nearby towns are now employed at a manufacturing plant here which was formally inaugurated on Wednesday.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas led the inauguration of the Mega Manufacturing Plant located in Barangay 4.

The company is known for its brands of sardines, tuna, canned fruits and vegetables.

Provincial Public Information Officer Jenny Aguilera told the Philippine News Agency that the plant started its operations late last year, employing over a thousand Batangueños for various steps of food processing.

In his speech at the event, Mandanas thanked the people behind Mega Prime Foods Inc. for their investment in their province, which he described as a “well-decided location.”

Batangas, he said, is considered as “the gateway of the agro-industrial corridor of the Philippines” and part of the South East Asian logistics hub network.

“The provincial government is in support of strengthening food security and presenting opportunities to uplift the economic status of the Filipino,” Mandanas added.

Mega Prime Foods Inc. broke ground for the manufacturing plant in 2020 with a total investment of PHP1 billion.

The plant has cutting-edge and state-of-the-art facilities that incorporate advanced and energy-efficient light sources to minimize carbon footprint, according to a statement released by the company during the inauguration.

Also present during the occasion were Batangas 3rd District Representative Ma. Theresa Collantes, Sto. Tomas Mayor Arth Jhun Marasigan, AnaKalusugan Party-list Rep. Ray Florence Reyes, Lian Vice Mayor Ronin Leviste, Batangas City Councilor Andrea Macaraig and other local officials. (PNA)