MANILA - No, there won't be any Disneyland in the Philippines.
This was settled as curiosity rose on social media concerning President Aquino’s meeting with Walt Disney International executives after the US-ASEAN Summit in California.
In a note to media, Communication Secretary Sonny Coloma said President Aquino met with leaders of three leading global corporations based in Los Angeles following his participation in the special ASEAN-US Summit.
Coloma added that all three companies signified to the President their top-of-mind preference for the Philippines as an investment venue and source of high-quality talent and for Philippine organizations as business partners.
However, Walt Disney International chairperson Andy Bird only told the President that “there are possibilities for tapping into the robust talent pool of creative Filipinos just like Ronnie del Carmen (co-director of Pixar’s "Inside Out"), Bobby Pontillas (one of the animators for Disney’s "Frozen"), Armand Serrano (visual development artist for Walt Disney Animation Studio who worked on "Mulan," "Tarzan," and "Big Hero 6," among others), and Gini Santos (one of the animators for Pixar’s "The Incredibles").
Bird also cited Walt Disney’s commercial partnerships with big Philippine corporations such as the SM Group and Globe Telecoms.
There was no mention of a Disneyland theme park in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, President Aquino thanked Western Digital Corporation (WDC) for employing over 10,000 Filipinos in its Philippine operations in various fields including manufacturing, engineering, quality, information technology, finance, site operations, human resources, and supply chain management.
Stephen Milligan, WDC chief executive officer, told Aquino that since 1994, their company has been a highly satisfied locator in the country’s export zones, on account of the excellent support provided by the Philippine Export Zone Authority headed by Director-General Lilia de Lima.
The third company to meet the President in Los Angeles Wednesday was AECOM (Architecture, Engineering, Consulting, Operations, and Maintenance), which employs 1,230 Filipinos in its global operations and over 1,000 more in its Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Philippine operations.
Michael Donnely, group president for AECOM’s Enterprise Growth Solutions, was joined by Alma Madrazo, Philippines country leader, and Hugh Doyle, president for international development.
They pledged to continue to participate actively in large infrastructure projects.
AECOM recently won the Clark Green City design competition and is also involved in, among others: the Mactan-Cebu International Airport passenger terminal building private-public partnership (PPP) project as concept designer; the Burgos wind and solar power project in Ilocos Norte, which is the biggest wind power facility in Southeast Asia; and in the Chevron Pandacan terminal decommissioning project.