2 firms to invest in solar power, medical BPO in the Philippines

2023 May 3

MANILA – Two more firms have expressed their interest in investing in the Philippines during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s official visit to the United States.

In a news update by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Wednesday (Manila time), solar firm Maxeon said it will invest some USD900 million (PHP49.8 billion) in solar energy in the Philippines, while American healthcare services provider Optum will invest some PHP800 million in medical business process outsourcing (BPO) in the country.

Marcos met with business leaders, including officials from Optum and Maxeon, in a series of meetings at the Blair House on Tuesday afternoon (US time) in a bid to attract more investments to the country.

Bill Mulligan, CEO of Maxeon which operates the SunPower brand in all global markets, said the investment will provide more than 3,000 jobs in the next few years.

Mulligan said the reason for the expansion efforts is the company’s confidence in the administration of President Marcos, as he looks forward to expanding the engagement with the Philippine government concerning the company’s operations.

“The Philippines has been incredibly important… it’s actually a strategic part of our company. And I want to thank you and I want to thank all of the government agencies for all of the help and the support for the 40 plus years that we’ve been in the country,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan said they are starting the expansion of their research and development (R&D) facility in Cavite, providing around 2,000 engineering jobs in the area.

Maxeon has been operating in the Philippines since 2003 and opened its first factory at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan City in 2004.

Meanwhile, Optum’s medical BPO investment is set to employ some 1,500 Filipinos.

John Prince, president and COO of Optum, said the firm is committed to the Philippines and lauded the “strategic partnership that we have for a very long time.”

“I’m a really big believer that great things happen to great teams and we have a great team in the Philippines,” Prince said.

In March this year, Optum met with the Board of Investments (BOI) to discuss details of their planned new project in Davao and queries on the importation of equipment.

Since 2011, UHG/Optum has invested PHP5.1 billion in capital expenditure in operating four sites in Taguig, Muntinlupa, Quezon City and Cebu City.

Joining President Marcos in the meeting were former President and now Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Speaker Martin Romualdez, Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo Jr., PH Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez and Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo.

Filane Mikee Cervantes