Duterte open to gov’t takeover of Hanjin
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is “very receptive” to the idea of the Philippine government taking over the operations of South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp. in Subic, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed on Wednesday.
Lorenzana said the DND is looking at the possibility of the country having its own ship-building capacity.
“While we sympathize with the financial woes of Hanjin, we are excited by this development because we see the possibility of having our own ship-building capacity in the Philippines, especially large ships like what is being built by Hanjin in Subic,” Lorenzana said during the Senate budget deliberation of the Department of National Defense (DND).
“I said ‘why not take over the Hanjin and give it to the Navy to manage?’ So I brought this idea to the President last night and he is very receptive to the idea,” he added.
Lorenzana suggested that the government could be a minority owner while a private company could be a majority owner of the facility.
“This is really perfect for us. We are actually ordering ships from abroad and if you can take this over then we can build our own ships here. The Coast Guard is also in need of ships for their use. So why not?,” Lorenzana said.
“I think the government can be a minority owner, and the majority owner will be a civilian company,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, however, suggested that the government own the majority stake with a private entity handling the management of ship-building operations.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson suggested that the Philippine government take over Hanjin first and then just bid it out to private companies as partners.
The Philippine Navy, meantime, conceded that they cannot take over the entire Hanjin facility and operations.
“We cannot take over totally the entire Hanjin, a portion probably, the Navy can take over,” Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said. /gsg
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