Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, October 02, 2009

Rubber boat factory in Subic proposed

A private distributor of rubber boats said yesterday it is willing to build a rubber boat factory somewhere in Subic, Zambales that will supply not only the Philippines but other Association of Southeast Asian Nations member-countries such as Brunei, Vietnam and Thailand.

Senen Arabaca, president of Geneve SA Philippines Inc., one of the largest suppliers of rubber boats in the country, said a rubber boat with military specifications will cost P1.8 million each while those for commercial use can fetch between P100,000 and P600,000 in the local market.

“We are willing to build a factory here (in the country) so that we can help in the supply of rubber boats,” Arabaca said during the Fernandina media forum at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City.

At the height of massive flooding last Saturday, Arabaca lent to a government agency two of his rubber boats which were used in rescue and relief operations as government authorities and rescuers lacked the number of rubber boats to save people trapped in their homes.

Arabaca chided the government for failure to maintain its own rubber boats which could have been use in saving lives during the height of Ondoy. He explained that people in government should have properly kept the equipment to prevent them from being attacked by termites.

“They (people in government) should know how to maintain them. These rubber boats should be placed on shelves whether inflated or not,” Arabaca told reporters.

Arabaca said that when not in use, rubber boats should be inflated to at least once a month to check if there are holes that need plugging. He added that rubber boats must be stored in a cool place to prevent the materials from being brittle.

Arabaca said the 500 rubber boats he sold to different government agencies if maintained properly would have a lifespan of 20 years. He added that government last purchased rubber boats in 2000. “The latest purchase of a pump boat by a government agency was way back in 2000. Napakatagal na nun,” he said.

By. Francis T. Wakefield – Manila Bulletin

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