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July 3, 2007

Subic Freeport's workforce reaches 68,170 
As the national government undertakes measures to reduce poverty by creating jobs for the Filipino people, Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Ltd. (HHIC), the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country, posted an employment increase rate of 180% from its 2007 target.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza made the announcement recently after the inauguration rites for the opening of the 653-million peso Subic-Cawag-Balaybay access road led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last week.

Hanjin’s shipbuilding facility now provides jobs to some 5,165 Filipinos from nearby communities and 150 Korean nationals. This figure has exceeded Hanjin’s projected employment of 2,960 in 2007 alone.

Arreza added that Hanjin’s original plan of creating 7,000 job opportunities by year 2011 has already increased two-fold.

“This is a very promising projection. Hanjin, which is in Sitio Agusuhin, Redondo Peninsula, will be creating a total of 15,800 jobs to the residents of nearby communities by 2011. This is not impossible because Hanjin can now be reached by land through the newly opened 16.15-kilometer access road. This means getting that there, which usually took an hour and 45 minutes, now only takes about 45 minutes,” Arreza said.

He further said that by next year [2008], Hanjin aims to augment workforce to 13,080, and 14,280 by 2009.

Meanwhile, the Subic Bay Freeport posted a total workforce figure of 68,170 as of May 31, 2007. It comprises 17,600 from the manufacturing sector; 33,221 from services; and 17,349 from the construction industry employed by 818 registered enterprises in the Subic Freeport.

This overall figure is 11.7 percent higher than 60,989 recorded in the same period in 2006.

“Hanjin definitely contributed enormously in boosting the workforce in the construction industry,” Arreza affirmed.

He added that Hanjin will play a big role not only in the development of shipbuilding and ship repair industry in the country, but in boosting the economy of the region by providing about 20,000 to 30,000 direct and indirect hired workers. PNA

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