JEJU ISLAND, South Korea, June 2 –- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed elation here today after being informed by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corporation (HHICC) officials that the company would hire an additional 24,000 Filipino workers for its Subic and Misamis Oriental plants.
At present, Hanjin Philippines Inc. (HPI), HHICC’s main office in the Philippines, employs 16,000 workers.
As this developed, President Arroyo conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit on former Hanjin Philippines Inc. president Jong Shup Shim for making HPI one of the world’s largest shipbuilding conglomerates and for his contribution to the shipbuilding industry in the Philippines.
Jong is also credited for influencing HHICC to put up a shipbuilding facility in the Subic Freeport Zone in Zambales.
The awarding was held yesterday at the Shilla Hotel here at the sidelines of the ongoing 20th Anniversary of ASEAN and Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.
During a meeting with HHICC president N.H. Cho at the Shilla Hotel in this island city, President Arroyo lauded Hanjin’s billion-dollar investment in its Subic shipyard, and additional multibillion-dollar investment in a new facility in Misamis Oriental, for making the Philippines the fourth largest shipbuilder in the world.
Jong later told mediamen that starting this September, HPI will begin local production of ship components which they normally import from Korea for the assembly of ships at the Subic shipyard.
Jong estimated that the company would be able to manufacture 29-million dollars worth of locally produced components for the first year and expressed confidence that this amount would increase to 57-million dollars next year.
This, according to Jong, will make the ships produced at the Hanjin shipyard in Subic entirely and proudly Philippine-made.