It was deja vu for me – travelling through C5 and SLEX on an early morning. Only, I wasn’t driving and stuck in traffic all by myself. This time I was riding with three other fab ladies and kuya driver. Our destination was the Amherst Laboratories of Unilab in Mamplasan, Binan.
Six or seven years ago, I worked there for 10 months as a product manager. I still cannot imagine that I endured hours of horrendous traffic driving to Mamplasan from Quezon City and back… But I did. Maybe I did love my job. 😛
Anyway, it wasn’t yet called Amherst then. But I remember the Amherst plant was in its early stage of construction around the time I left the company.
Much have changed since I was last there. I recognize the place because of the common theme in architecture among all the buildings in the Unilab Pharma Campus. Other than that, I’d get lost.
What was I doing back in Mamplasan? Unilab invited several mommy bloggers to visit the Amherst Laboratories, a world-class pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The purpose of the plant tour was to show the innovation and quality that Unilab puts into making their meds.
The plant tour was hosted by Ms. Patricia Hizon, sportswriter/caster, blogger and a mom herself. The group of mommy bloggers was welcomed with a hearty breakfast by Mr. Jack Orendain from Unilab’s Corporate Affairs. There were presentations from Dr. Lourdes Genuino of the Medical Department on choices for a healthier family, and Ms. Adi de Leon, the plant manager, on the different processes and features of the plant.
Then came the exciting part: the tour! We were required to wear scrubs (which were personalized with our nicknames, by the way 🙂 ), hair caps, and shoe covers, and had to wash our hands before entering the manufacturing areas.
Some new stuff I learned from this trip:
- The Amherst Laboratories is the only EU Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-certified pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in the Philippines.
- Amherst was named after a place in the US which is very close to the owners’ hearts.
- The plant projects to produce 1 billion tablets this year!
- There are about 160+ regular employees, and about the same number of contractual employees at the Plant. Most of them live around the area. Unilab is for providing jobs for the locals. Despite proposals to make some processes mechanized or computerized (more economical in the long run), Unilab chooses to keep the people instead.
- Unilab spends millions every month for proper waste disposal and water treatment.
- Canteen food is now a lot, lot, loooot better now than back in my time! (Of course, it was a different company then so… )
After the exhaustive/exhausting plant tour (it’s a huuuuge plant), the mommies were treated to an afternoon spa delight in Nuvali. It was a full day of learning new things and enjoying each other’s company, even if it was my first time to meet most of the mommy bloggers.
The Amherst plant tour was part of Unilab’s Discerning Mommy campaign. It aimed to show us how committed the company is in providing high-quality products for its consumers. My kids’ daily vitamin supplements are Unilab products; we’ve been using them for several years already. Seeing the technology that goes into making the medicines makes me feel more confident and assured that I am choosing well for my family.
Photos without watermark are from Unilab.