Senator Richard J. Gordon has proposed that the government could enter into a partnership with local taipans and Korean investors and take over the debt-saddled Hanjin Philippines so that the country can build its own ships.
Gordon stressed that the Hanjin shipyard is a very important natural resource, of human, logistical, and engineering resource, which the country should continue.
“Dapati-take over yan kung kinakailangan. AngimportanteritoangPilipinasmakakagawa ng sarilinatingbarko ng Philippine Navy, malaking savings saatinyan or mgabarko ng atingmganegosyo. Tayoangika-apatsabuongmundonagumagawa ng mgabarko ng mundodahildiyan. So dapatipagpatuloynatin yon. (They can take over if needed. What is important here is that the Philippines can build its own Philippine Navy ship; that’s a big savings for us or for our business. We are the fourth in the world that builds ships of the world. So we should continue that.),” he said.
“It would also ensure that the workers’ livelihood protected by using the shipyard capabilities to build our own ships for defense,” the senator added.
Gordon said the government should come up with investment packages to entice investors so that it could continue the shipyard’s operations and comply with its commitments.
“I think the government, i-package nilayan para mapagpatuloynatinkasimaraminamanhongnaka-order e at marami ng nagawa kaya langnabibinbinlang, dahilngaditosa away nila Trump at tsaka China. Nabibitinyungmga order peronagagawayungbarko. At kahitnamalugi pa yanpaghinawakannatinyan, angimportantemakakagawanatayo ng sarilinatingbarko. (I think the government [will] package it to continue [building ships] because many have ordered and many were done; they are just delayed because of the feud between Trump and China. The orders are delayed but the ships are being built. Even if we lose money, the important thing is we can build our own ships.),” he said.
The senator said Korean investors should likewise be enticed because they have the know-how and the country will benefit from the technology transfer. However, while Gordon wants the Philippine Navy to have its headquarters inside the shipyard, he is not amenable to having the Navy manage the shipyard operations.
Gordon also stressed the need for maritime academies to open up naval architecture courses once the government takes over Hanjin to enable the country to design and build its own ships.
Hanjin Philippines filed last week a petition before the Regional Trial Court in Olongapo City for voluntary rehabilitation under Republic Act 10142 or the law providing for the rehabilitation or liquidation of financially distressed enterprises and individuals.
Hanjin Philippines officials revealed to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority that the company has around $400 million in outstanding loans from Philippine banks on top of $900 million in debts owed to South Korea lenders. (BagongSenado)