The idea of Philippine government taking over Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil) that is facing financial woes was raised and is gaining support.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri described during the Senate discussion on Department of National Defense (DND)’s 2019 budget held January 16 that this is a “golden opportunity” to be able to take control of the Hanjin facility in Subic for shipbuilding for Philippine Navy and Coast Guard and support Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization.
“While we sympathize with the financial woes of Hanjin, we are excited really with this development because we see the possibility of having our own shipbuilding capacity in Philippines, especially large ships, like what’s being built by Hanjin’s shipyard in Subic,” National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
“Flag Officer-in-Command [Vice] Admiral [Robert] Empedrad reached out to me the other day and said to me why not we take over the Hanjin and give it to the Navy to manage. And so I brought this idea to the President last night and he is very receptive to the idea,” Lorenzana added
However, Lorenzana noted that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez is thinking how the local banks can recoup their investments in the shipyard amounting to $430 million.
Secretary Lorenzana also noted that the Philippine Navy needs to acquire 20 ships in the next five years.
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson also raised the proposal to source the amount to have a stake in Hanjin from the still floating PHP75 billion in the proposed 2019 national budget.