MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino yesterday joined Jollibee Foods Corp.’s celebration of its twin store milestones as the Filipino company launched its expansion program.
In simple ceremonies held at the Heroes Hall of the Malacañang Palace, Aquino commended Jollibee chairman and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong for the fastfood chain’s 800th store in Malaybalay, Bukidnon province and 100th store in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
“The success of Jollibee Foods Corp. over the years is truly amazing. From 100 stores in 1991, the number increased to over 900 in 2014 in the Philippines and other corners of the world,” Aquino said in Filipino.
The President also said he is looking forward to celebrate the opening of Jollibee’s 1,000th store that would hopefully be completed next year, or a year before his six-year term ends.
The event was highlighted by Caktiong’s presentation to Aquino of a scale model of Jollibee Malaybalay Highway Drive-Thru store, which features Jollibee’s latest modern tropical design concept.
Jollibee officials also presented a global store network map showing Jollibee’s brand presence worldwide, including Vietnam, United States, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Caktiong said his company is honored to celebrate their milestone with the President.
He also said Jollibee “fully supports” the government’s key programs aimed at further strengthening the economy and creating job opportunities for Filipinos.
Aquino thanked the fastfood chain for providing jobs to its at least 180,000 employees and for its social responsibility initiatives through the Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF).
Aquino cited the Busog, Lusog, Talino School Feeding Program that helps address the issue of hunger and malnutrition among students by providing daily lunch meals in an eight-month feeding cycle.
Since 2007, the program has served more than 100,000 Grade 1 and Grade 2 students in 1,100 public elementary schools nationwide.
Aquino also lauded JGF’s Farmer Entrepreneurship Program that helps empower small-scale farmers to become more productive citizens and earn profits along the way by giving them the opportunity to be direct suppliers of Jollibee.
JGF has assisted more than 800 small-scale farmers in Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Quezon, Ilocos Sur, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental and Bukidnon since 2008.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has helped Jollibee in this program by providing training, technical assistance and agriculture equipment.
In 2013, the DA allocated P8.15 million for the program that aims to maximize production and profits for small-scale farmers.
Aquino likewise underscored JGF’s initiatives in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda. He lauded the foundation for providing 68,000 congee meals, 12,000 hot meals and at least 16,000 relief packs to 160,000 individuals in the affected communities. (Delon Porcalla, The Philippine Star)