HPC to manufacture Covid-screening device

Hocheng Philippines Corp. (HPC) looks to produce and distribute a multifunctional coronavirus-screening device as part of its expansion plans in the country, the Board of Investments (BoI) reported on Tuesday.

In a statement, the investments board described this device, called Lenus, as an antivirus guard that requires wearing a face mask and functions as a thermal scanner and alcohol dispenser in one.

During their meeting in February, the local unit of Chinese bathroom-fixture manufacturer Hocheng Corp. showed how Lenus worked, including how to refill the dispenser and configure body temperature settings.

Those approaching the device without a face mask would be voice-prompted to wear one before entering an establishment.

This feature is essential and timely to keep people around the place safe and secure, according to the BoI, an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry.

“We are positioning the Philippines as a complementary host country to target companies, particularly those looking into diversifying their business locations to sustain and enhance competitiveness,” Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said in the statement. “HPC’s expansion plans additionally strengthen this positioning.”

The board has been encouraging manufacturers of Covid-related products, like medical supplies and electronic components for medical applications; and firms producing electric equipment and appliances; information technology products, machinery and equipment, and metal products to locate in the country.

“ enticing them to invest in these industries, the outcome is a win-win for both businesses and the country. While we make their enterprises grow, we attract the highly desirable investments that will serve the public interest, especially [during this public] health crisis,” Rodolfo said.

HPC is looking at hospitals, health-care facilities, business establishments and consumers as possible markets for Lenus.

Established by Hocheng in 1995, HPC opened a 10-hectare plant inside the First Cavite Industrial Estate in Dasmariñas City, Cavite province in 1997, which currently employs
around 850 people.

The company generates about P1.7 billion annually.

During the meeting, Rodolfo told HPC President Sam Chen of the government’s commitment to making business in the country competitive.

“We have put in place incentives that create an investor-friendly landscape, allowing investors to set up their business at a lower cost. Foreign companies can also benefit from corporate income tax exemptions where new and better rates are embodied in the recently approved Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (Create),” he said.

Ratified by Congress early last month, Create aims to cut the corporate income tax rate from the current 30 percent to 20 percent for small businesses and to 25 percent for large enterprises.

It also aims to modernize the country’s fiscal incentives by making them more competitive and transparent, time-bound, targeted and performance-based.

The measure is still awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.