Lacson: Deleted Budget Insertions Can Fund Potential PH Gov’t Takeover of Hanjin Shipyard

Image courtesy: HHIC Phils Facebook page

Instead of potentially letting foreign firms do so, it would be better if the Philippine government take over the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction in Subic, Zambales.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson raised this proposal Wednesday during the Senate’s deliberations on the 2019 budget of the Department of National Defense.

Lacson pointed out the government may use “insertions” deleted from the P3.7-trillion proposed 2019 budget, including P75 billion of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“What if the Philippine government will just take over Hanjin and bid out to possible partners, private entities? This will mean potential income for the government,” said Lacson, who earlier moved to have the Senate constitute itself into a Committee of the Whole to discuss the issue while tackling the DND’s budget.

Related: Ping: Operasyon sa Hanjin, Saluhin na lang ng Gobyerno

He pointed out the issue surrounding Hanjin’s shipyard has far-reaching implications on Filipinos, ranging from security to economic and even social concerns.

Under Lacson’s proposal, the Philippine government can have continuous income while the Philippine Navy may have a new facility.

He added the appropriate agencies can hold consultations with the National Economic and Development Authority regarding partnerships between the government and a private entity.

“Yes, Sir,” DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana replied when Lacson asked him if it is a “good idea, if the Philippine government takes over first and then look for a private entity as partner.”

For his part, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said, “We fully support the initiative of Sen. Lacson.”