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, which the country should continue.
“Dapat i-take over yan kung kinakailangan. Ang importante rito ang Pilipinas makakagawa ng sarili nating barko ng Philippine Navy, malaking savings sa atin yan or mga barko ng ating mga negosyo. Tayo ang ika-apat sa buong mundo na gumagawa ng mga barko ng mundo dahil diyan. So dapat ipagpatuloy natin yon,” 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 nila yan para mapagpatuloy natin kasi marami naman hong naka-order eh at marami ng nagawa kaya lang nabibinbin lang, dahil nga dito sa away nila Trump at tsaka China. Nabibitin yung mga order pero nagagawa yung barko. At kahit na malugi pa yan pag hinawakan natin yan, ang importante makakagawa na tayo ng sarili nating barko,” 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.
“Pag ginawa yan dapat andiyan ang Philippine Navy headquarters, pero hindi ang Philippine Navy ang magpapatakbo, mag-oorder lang sila,” he said.
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.
“Pangalawa, mangyayari niyan ay mayroon talaga tayong dapat maritime academy na magkakaron ng nautical engineering, nautical architecture, naval architecture para makakagawa tayo ng sarili nating mga barko at tayo mismo ang siyang magkakaron ng kapasidad. Tandaan niyo by 1880, nagbukas ang Japan, kinopya nila ang navy ng German navy at mga sundalo ng ibang mga military ng ibang bansa at kinopya nila noong Meiji restoration. At matapos ang wala pang 35 years, nagawa nilang palubugin ang buong barko ng Russia. First time nanalo ang Asian country against a major Caucasian country,” he pointed out.
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.
Its 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.