PGMA gets hot welcome at shipyard
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s visit to the billion dollar shipbuilding facility of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines here Friday drew a warm welcome from some 16,000 employees who are currently working in the shipyard.
President Arroyo responded with smile and a wave that made the workers cheer even more.
The President’s visit to this premier Freeport was part of her Urban Luzon Beltway tour while checking on the progress of two legacy projects of her administration: The Subic Port Development Project and the Korean-owned Hanjin shipyard.
“Let us not talk about legacy here. I am just thankful that HHIC has chosen the Philippines to invest $1.9 billion over the last three years in Subic,” she said.
She added that the company has already put the Philippines in the ranks of the world’s top shipbuilders.
While Hanjin President Jeong Sup Shim was briefing Mrs. Arroyo, Filipino workers waved and shouted words of welcome to her and her delegation.
Chairman Feliciano Salonga of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, Press Secretary Crispulo Icban, Jr. and Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya, Jr. accompanied the President.
"What many foreign investors like about Subic is the competitive workforce," Arreza explained. "The Philippine labor force is more competitive than those in other Asian countries. And here in Subic Bay, we take pride in our talented and high-quality workers."
Arreza added that local workers have "high-quality motor and technical skills, are quick learners and hardworking, and they put into practice whatever they learn in trainings.”
Hanjin Vice President Myung Goo Kwon, whom the President credited with starting the inflow of Korean investments to Subic, said the company has built and sold 11 ships to foreign and local buyers. By JONAS REYES - Manila Bulletin
Officials of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines pose with officials of Kaptanoglu Shipping Line, owner of the M/T Leyla K at the Hanijn shipyard in the Subic Bay Freeport. The 114,000-ton ship was the first oil tanker built by Hanjin in Subic.