US health outsourcing firm to expand in Iloilo

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SHEARWATER Health, a US outsourcing company for clinical services, will expand its Philippine operation to Iloilo City next year to meet growing demand from US clients, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement.

Formerly known as HCCA, Shearwater Health, which first invested in the Philippines in 2014 with a facility in Cebu City, opened a Taguig office last year. It currently employs about 1,500 nurses, pharmacists and physicians.

Last year, the company announced plans to increase its staff by 2,000.

Shearwater’s Philippine investments have totaled $4 million to $5 million as of 2016. The planned expansion in Iloilo City will boost the investment by $7 million and raise staffing levels to 3,000, DTI said.

The announcement of Shearwater’s Iloilo investment comes as the government bats for more investment from US firms.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez met in August in New York City with the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) in a bid to encourage firms already in the Philippines to expand their operations.

Textiles are among the industries granted favorable treatment under the European Union’s generalized system of preferences plus (GSP+) scheme, which imposes zero or minimal tariffs on 6,247 Philippine product categories. These include textiles, clothing, and certain food products.

  The Philippines Investment Forum Mr. Lopez spoke at attracted 85 AAFA executives. Mr. Lopez also met with companies like Tellas Ltd, Under Armour, Inc., Michael Kors (USA), Inc., Ralph Lauren Corp., Coach, Inc., and the Ascena Retail Group, Inc. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato