Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of eco-zones and comfort zones

The company has been long been considering transferring our manufacturing operations from the city to one of the Export Processing Zones in the south of Metro Manila, and it certainly appears a very attractive proposition. Among other things, the tax incentives, lower minimum wage rates and electricity costs add up to the major factors. The only problem I see is the difficulty of more lengthy travel time for employees based in the city. Many employees would feel displaced, and there is the challenge of keeping the core people intact. Still, there is always the option of relocation, if one is comfortable with that. At any rate, the zone administrator opined that the real bottom line is productivity and the level of comfort of the business locators and its employees. While we are looking for the ideal export processing zone, we might as well look for our comfort zones. There is much more to the equation other than straightforward cost computations, otherwise, the cost of operating in other low-cost Asian countries would have easily trumped the matter. Well, many people have different definitions of cost, and it really depends on one's orientation. Here is one possible plant location somewhere in Laguna, with an invigorating breeze and the majestic Mt.Makiling within the landscape. Right now, there is nothing here but a vast expanse of greenery and majestic scenery. An eco-friendly plant here with some really good and motivated people would be hard to put a price on. The legend has it that in the mythology about the mountain, the fairy Maria Makiling is able to turn ginger into gold.

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