16 January 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III led the official opening of Austal Philippines Shipyard operations located in Balamban, Cebu where he proudly stated that the Philippines has grown into the fourth largest shipbuilding country in the world and that in the coming months and years, the Filipino work force will be highlighted as world-class when it comes to building ships.
Austal Philippines has already finished the construction of one ship for export and four more ships are expected to be finished before the end of this year. This will bring in a total of 70 million dollars and is expected to provide jobs to nearly 300 Filipinos. Furthermore, the Australian military and commercial boat builder has invested an additional 4.8 million dollars for the improvement of Balamban shipyard.
Mr. Greg Jason, Chief Operating Officer of Austal, said that he has visited 37 countries but still chose the Philippines as one of its global manufacturing operations centers. President Aquino said that his administration will continue supporting the shipping industry to make it easier for companies like Austal to build ships in the country. He added that the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) has certified around 95,000 welders in its registry as of the end of 2012. They will soon be seen applying for jobs in Balamban shipyard.
“I assure all our countrymen and all those who have wagered their success in our country: we will continue improving. On the straight path, we aspire to excellence, to battering ourselves – and we will definitely get there,” the President said.
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