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  • Nina Sherizze de Sagun

USAID official visits Second Advanced Manufacturing Institute in the Philippines

USAID Mission Director Ryan Washburn and Deputy Assistant Administrator for East Asia and the Pacific Sara Borodin join Agreement Officer Representative for AMDev Henry Grageda, Unilab Corporate Vice President Limuel Razo, Unilab Foundation Executive Director Lilibeth Aristorenas, Unilab Pharma Academy Dean Wrianeile Abuel, Belmont Softgel Pharma staff, and the 20 trainees under the USAID-Unilab Foundation-led program AMDev.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Assistant Administrator for East Asia and the Pacific Sara Borodin visited the Philippines last February to reaffirm USAID’s more than six decades of commitment to the country’s economic growth.  


Part of Ms. Borodin’s itinerary was a stop at Belmont Softgel Pharma in Floridablanca, Pampanga on February 21, 2024, where she met Unilab Corporate Vice President Limuel Razo, Unilab Assistant Vice President and Head of External Affairs and Social Partnerships Division Claire Papa, Unilab Foundation Executive Director Lilibeth Aristorenas, Floridablanca Mayor Darwin Manalansan, and trainees under the USAID-Unilab Foundation-led Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev). Ms. Borodin was joined by USAID’s Mission Director Ryan Washburn and Agreement Officer Representative for the AMDev Program, Henry Grageda. 


Twenty trainees received certificates as they completed “Handling Investigation,” a follow-on course to the Data Trend Analysis Training.  


In her message, Ms. Borodin pledged that the US government will continue to support and invest in the Filipino youth to have future-ready jobs and opportunities ahead of them.  


“The Philippines’ young population can benefit from a more vibrant economy. This training will better prepare you [trainees] for the workplaces and will contribute to ensuring a healthier, happier, more productive workforce positioned to contribute positively to communities and, broadly, to the country’s growth,” DAA Borodin said.  


Belmont Softgel Pharma is a subsidiary of the Unilab Group, the Philippines’ leading pharmaceutical brand. As AMDev Alliance Partner, the facility is also one of the two Advanced Manufacturing Institutes (AMI) inaugurated on September 27, 2023, preceded by the first AMI established at the Unilab Pharma Campus in Biñan, Laguna in March of the same year. 


“When we partnered with the Unilab Foundation and USAID for the AMDev program, the objective was clear: make the best operators, technicians, and supervisors among the 11,000 workforce. Human capital development is critical for investors to come to the Philippines. The quality, skills, and competencies of our workers are key to industrial development and for investors to establish more facilities to grow the country,” added VP Lazo.  


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