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Tsuneishi to pour in P25B to Cebu

/ 07:51 AM March 29, 2012

A Japanese-owned shipbuilding company based in Balamban town in western Cebu is projecting a P25 billion contribution to Cebu this year.

Hitoshi Kono, Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Inc. (THI) president,  told visiting Japanese Embassy officials that the firm was confident of pouring into Cebu at least ¥50 billion (P25 billion) for this year alone.

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Kono, however, didn’t go into specifics of the ¥50 billion contribution but cited already completing at least 18 of the targeted 21 ships orders from abroad.

Last year, the firm targeted to deliver at least 17 cargo vessels. But this year they were optimistic on finishing  at least 21 ships, said Delio Cuevas, THI General Manager – safety department.

Since the Japanese company was founded in Cebu in 1994, the company has since delivered 130 ships by 2011.

Kono toured the media and briefed two Japanese officials from the Japanese Embassy in their visit to the shipyard.

Hiroshi Yamakawa, Second Secretary for Economic Section of the Embassy of Japan, together with Kenji Hirai, press officer for Japan Information and Culture Center, are in Cebu to visit beneficiaries of their loan programs and assess the impact of their project to the community.

Although THI is not a loan beneficiary but Japan’s Official Development Assistance helped in linking the Tsuneishi Group in Japan and Aboitiz Group in the Philippines.

Since 1994, Balamban town has been progressive since the shipbuilding industry was built in the 147 hectare reclaimed property.

Kono also said he wasn’t worried about losing highly-skilled welders to firms abroad.

Although every year the firm had an average of 10 percent manpower turnover rate, Kono said the firm’s continuous training program helped in replenishing the rate of employees’ resignation.

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Seeking jobs abroad is the usual reason for their resignation.

Kono said the firm wasn’t even rushing to hire additional employees this year.

“We don’t intend to increase the number of employees. If they want to go abroad it is their choice,” Kono said.

THI has 13,000 employees made up  mostly of Balamban town residents. He said only one percent of the workforce or 70 employees was Japanese.

The town has been benefited with the  employment generated by the ship building company, a joint corporation of Tsuneishi Group of Japan and Aboitiz Group in the Philippines.

A MOA was signed between Tsuneishi and the Balamban government that 70 percent of the total number of employees should be residents of Balamban town.

Yamakawa and Hirai were toured in the facility and briefed by Tsuneishi general managers.

After their THI visit, the group went to Cebu where the Embassy of Japan  Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) donated more than P4 million to upgrade the plant’s facility.

The Japanese officials then continued their visit to Pentax, PEZA in Mactan and later with their last stop at the Mactan – Cebu International Airport.

The airport was constructed through a loan to the Japanese government amounting to ¥10, 790 million.

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TAGS: Business, Hitoshi Kono, Investments, Shipbuilding, Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Inc. (THI)
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