Takeover of Hanjin: Duterte ‘very receptive’
President Rodrigo Duterte is “very receptive” to the idea of taking over the facilities of the bankrupt Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp. Philippines so that the Philippine Navy could boost its shipbuilding capacity, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Lorenzana told senators on Wednesday that the government could team up with a private entity to manage the shipyard.
Hanjin, the local shipbuilding unit of a Korean conglomerate, declared bankruptcy this month.
Its local debts amount to more than $400 million.
“While we sympathize with the financial woes of Hanjn, we are excited by this development because we see the possibility of having our own shipbuilding capacity in the Philippines, especially large ships like what’s being built in the Hanjin shipyard in Subic,” Lorenzana said.
The Navy needed 20 more ships in the next five years, he added.
Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad had broached the idea, which Lorenzana said he relayed to the President.
“This is really very perfect for us,” Lorenzana said.
“We are actually ordering ships from abroad. If we take this over, we can build our own ships here,” he added.
The Philippine Coast Guard also needed a lot of ships, he noted.
He said the government could be a minority owner in Hanjin, while its private partner could be the majority owner.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III was also thinking of how local banks could recoup its investments in Hanjin, which amounted to $430 million, Lorenzana added.
Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Panfilo Lacson supported the idea.
Lacson said the government could use deleted budget insertions.