Olongapo City Skills Training Center

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bright job prospects for welders


Ever wondered where have all the welders gone?

Thousands of them are now employed by Hanjin at its shipyard in Redondon Peninsula, Zambales, that’s where.

According to Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye, the country’s “best welders are now employed by Hanjin at its Zambales shipbuilding complex, the world’s fourth largest.

The Korean shipbuilding giant plans to build five ships a month, 60 ships a year, “and that requires a lot of welders,” Bunye said.

That’s only for starters, he added, as the labor market for welders is bound to expand significantly when Hanjin opens its shipbuilding facility in Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental.

Last Thursday (Jan. 10), President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo witnessed in Cagayan de Oro City the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) between Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Ltd. (HHICC) and Phividec Industrial Authority (PIA) on the construction of a US$ 2-billion shipbuilding facility in Cagayan de Oro City.

The President gleefully noted that the new investment clearly reflected the favorable outlook for the country in the international community.

She pointed out that from 2003 to 2006, foreign investments in the Philippines grew five-fold and continued to increase at a double-digit rate last year.

“This surge of investments has been anchored by billion-dollar plus investments by several major international companies, not only Hanjin but also Texas Instruments in Clark, Marubeni and AES in the power sexctor and Mittal Global’s upcoming integrated steel mill in Iligan City, among others,” the President said.

Hanjin’s second shipbuilding complex will be established inside the 3,000-hectare Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental.

The President said that when fully operational, the facility would employ up to 40,000 workers. Undoubtedly, many of them will be welders. (PNA)

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