Diokno is ambivalent on ship-building suggestion

Published January 16, 2019, 9:34 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Betheena Kae Unite

Taking over the embattled South Korean shipbuilder in Subic, if pursued, is a major shift in the role of the government thus it needs to be studied further, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.

“That is still a suggestion. We have to go over the financials,” Diokno said, responding to queries on the sideline of the commissioning of two fast patrol boats at the Philippine Coast Guard Wednesday.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno (KEVIN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno (KEVIN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)

Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that President Duterte is open to the government takeover of the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp, adding that the Department of National Defense is looking at the possibility of the Philippines having its own ship-building capability.

“This is going to be a major shift in the role of government. The role of government is to provide defense, national security and peace and order,” Diokno said.

“It’s not the role (of the government) to do the direct production of whatever they use. Like the PCG (Philippine Coast Guard), they did not produce (vessels), they had to buy,” he added.

“Can you imagine the military producing their own ships? That is a major decision, we have to discuss it. I want to see the complete proposal,” Diokno stressed. (Betheena Kae Unite)