DND to monitor possible investors in Hanjin

MANILA — While it would defer to the government’s economic team regarding the entry of possible investors in Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil), Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said they will monitor those who have expressed interest to invest in the bankrupt shipbuilder.

“We defer to the economic team in this area. But we (are) interested to know who are coming to invest,” he said, noting that the HHIC-Phil is near the Philippine Navy’s major docking and anchorage area of its large naval vessels.

“After all, Subic Bay is also a major docking and anchorage of our big ships. We will monitor who are interested to invest,” Lorenzana said.

HHIC-Phil earlier said it has a total of USD1.3 billion outstanding loans, USD400 million of which come from Philippine banks and USD900 million from South Korean lenders.

According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the HHIC-Phil filed a petition last Tuesday at the Regional Trial Court in Olongapo City “to initiate voluntary rehabilitation under Republic Act 10142, otherwise known as An Act Providing for the Rehabilitation or Liquidation of Financially Distressed Enterprises and Individuals”.

The petition is to seek help from the government to find investors that can take over the operation of HHIC-Phil shipyard in Subic, as well as to help its employees, who have carried the brunt of the company’s financial woes.

In December 2018, the company laid off more than 7,000 workers. (PNA)