MAASIM, SARANGANI — Despite the global economic slump, investor confidence shows no sign of slowing down here as a Sarangani-based Filipino-owned company recently announced in a groundbreaking ceremony the putting up of a shipbuilding facility worth 250 million pesos that is set to be the biggest in Mindanao.
The Gensan Shipyard and Machine Works, Inc. (GSMWI), a member of the RD Group of Companies, will build the multi-million huge twin slipways with a combined capacity of 10,000 GRT and is proposed to be operational within the year.
The proposed facility is also seen to cater to the transportation and logistics needs of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga).
ROCK THE BOAT.Medco chairperson undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana and Maasim Municipal Mayor Aniceto Lopez Jr. (in orange) sign the blueprint of the proposed P250-million shipbuilding facility in Sarangani. The project is set to be the biggest in Mindanao and is expected to generate 700 jobs. It is expected to be operational within the year.(contributed photo)
“The Philippines and most of the members of Asean (Association of southeast Asian nations) need ships and vessels to transport their products. By expanding our business reach within the region, Gensan Shipyard and all member-companies in the RD Group are paving the way for other investors, both local and foreign, to invest in the province of Sarangani and partner for economic development” said Rodrigo Rivera Sr., RD Group chairman and chief executive officer.
Rivera also said that the building of the shipyard facility “is our contribution to the overall efforts of the government to prime-up the economy” adding that investors should look more into responding in a time of crises by pumping more investments in the countryside and creating job
When completed and fully operational, the shipbuilding project will generate jobs to more than 700 workers.
Rivera added that the project is also aimed at supporting the roll-on-roll-off (Roro) sea transport program of the government and medium-sized vessel construction for export to Asean countries.
The project is also seen to contribute largely to the growth of the Maasim-Kiamba-Maitum (Makima) growth area with its strategic location to the Bimp-Eaga.
“This current undertaking by the RD Group is a testament to the resilience of the Filipino entrepreneurial spirit,” said undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, chairman of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (Medco).
Leyretana said that the groundbreaking of the shipyard facility is a milestone for Mindanao particularly in the island-region’s role in the Bimp-Eaga as well as in nation-building.
According to a Medco report on Mindanao investment performance as of 3rd quarter of 2008, local equity investments has doubled in value from 5.053 billion pesos in 2007 to 10.583 billion pesos in 2008 of the same period.
The new shipbuilding projects will initially bring-in foreign exchange at a conservative level of 1.5-million US dollars gradually increasing by 20 percent annually, according to a press statement released by the company.
Currently, the Gensan Shipyard has two floating dry docks with a combined lifting capacity of 4,000 tons and occupies approximately 185,000 square meter area, with vertical and horizontal developments now in their varying stages of completion.
“We need more these initiatives in our efforts to enhance transportation of goods and commodities and push for connectivity of our transport sector in Mindanao and the Bimp-Eaga,” Leyretana added.
The Gensan Shipyard facility of RD Group is envisioned to be a catalyst in the Bimp-Eaga trade development, the press statement added. This development comes in time for the 17th Medco and 15th Bimp-Eaga founding anniversary with the theme “Strengthening Ties, Celebrating Gains, Accelerating Growth”.
This year’s anniversary celebration pays tribute to the gains of Bimp-Eaga over the past 15 years while emphasizing Medco’s role in enhancing inter-agency coordination and strengthening partnerships as a strategic means to achieve lasting peace and sustainable progress in Mindanao. (Medco)