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US healthcare provider to expand PH operations

US healthcare solutions provider Shearwater Health is expanding its operations in the Philippines by investing $7 million to set up shop in Iloilo City next year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said yesterday.

The agency said that Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez met with Shearwater CFO and COO Tom Kendrot, who confirmed the company’s 2018 expansion in Visayas.

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“Such expansion is expected to increase the company’s labor footprint in the country to 3,000,” DTI said.

The company opened its first facility at the Cebu Business Park in 2014, before opening another facility last year at the Net Park building in Bonifacio Global City. In a previous media interview, Kendrot said that Shearwater Health was one of the biggest non-hospital employers of licensed clinicians.

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Kendrot said that Shearwater Health has two lines of businesses—nursing recruitment and clinical process outsourcing. The latter falls under the healthcare segment of the IT-BPM industry, one of the fastest-growing niche segments under the multibillion-dollar outsourcing business.

Apart from this, Lopez also met with members of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) to discuss potential relocation and expansion of their manufacturing facilities in the Philippines following the expansion of duty-free treatment to US imports of travel goods under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Program.

According to the DTI statement, Lopez encouraged AAFA member companies, which include Tellas Ltd. (formerly Luenthai USA), Under Armour Inc., Michael Kors (USA) Inc., Ralph Lauren Corp., Coach Inc. and Ascena Retail Group Inc. (makers of Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant, Dressbarn and Catherines), to take advantage of the GSP scheme.

DTI, however, did not say which of these companies would be expanding and importing from the Philippines.

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