The JPEPA has yet to be ratified by the Senate, but it has already claimed a casualty in Cebu, the president's bailiwick. The Inquirer reports here that the Norkis Trading Co., Inc., the Cebu-based company that pioneered the making of the four-wheel vehicle now known as “multicabs,” will cease operating its production and assembly facility for Yamaha motorcycles next month. In a company statement, Norkis said that the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) will allow Japanese manufacturers to bring their finished products into the country without any tariff coverage.
Local production which started in 1962, apparently, would no longer make good business sense for Norkis. Three hundred sixty-four permanent employees will lose their jobs at as a result.