Hyundai’s registration hangs over facility delay

The Board of Investments said Monday it would cancel the Motor Vehicle Development Program registration of Hyundai Association Resources, Inc. if the processes in its assembly plant here are not completed by June.

In a press conference, BOI managing head and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said HARI’s assembly plant should have processes, including welding, painting, trimming, and quality control inspection.

Rodolfo, reading the statement of DTI Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez, said the BOI’s decision on HARI’s case does not give an “extra privilege” to HARI, or any company under the MVDP, contrary to claims made by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in the case it filed against DTI and Hyundai executives.

“He (Lopez) would like to assure the Filipino people, including the VACC, that the BOI and he, as Chair, are unwavering in their duty to implement the MVDP. No preference nor favor was given to HARI or to any participant,” Rodolfo said.

Aside from Lopez, the VACC filed a criminal complaint before the Department of Justice against Hyundai Motor Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mong-Koo Chung; President and co-CEO Won-Hee Lee; and Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) Asia and Pacific Regional Headquarters President Yong Suk Lee.

HARI executives, including Chairman Emeritus Richard Lee, Chairman Edward Go, Vice Chairman Conrad Marty, President and CEO Maria Fe Perez-Agudo, and Board of Directors members Eleazar Reyes and Ladislao Avila Jr. were also named as respondents.

“First and foremost, the BOI resolution was issued by the BOI Board as a collegial body and, as such, was deliberated and decided upon as a group with due regard to the requirements of due process and in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations,” Rodolfo said.

To recall, the BOI conducted an ocular inspection of HARI’s assembly plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna in the first half of 2017, and found out that the company had failed to comply with the industry development program under Executive Order 156, but was already enjoying a 1-percent tax rate on importation of completely knocked-down (CKD) units instead of the usual 20 percent to 30 percent duty.

For her part, BOI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa said the firm’s facility in Laguna only has trimming and quality control inspection, but the welding and painting facilities are not present.(PNA)