The Philippine Government is presently putting together an incentives support package for local shipbuilders, an official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced recently.
Rafaelita Aldaba, DTI Assistant Secretary in Charge of the Industry Development and Trade Policy Group, made the announcement while speaking to both local and foreign business leaders and the press at the Manufacturing Summit 2017 conference held in Makati City on Wednesday, November 29.
The incentives are intended to entice local shipbuilders, ship repair yards and providers of ancillary services to more actively participate in the construction of both small- and medium-sized vessels mainly for domestic use within the next few years, Aldaba said.
The aim is to tap even further into the Philippines’ abundance of skilled labour in the areas of shipbuilding and ship repair to help accelerate the ongoing modernisation of the country’s collective Ro-Ro fleet, the majority of which are decades-old second-hand vessels that were constructed abroad.
The support package also calls for the establishment of “maritime industrial parks” in strategic locations throughout the country to bring shipbuilders and related firms much closer geographically and therefore adequately address many of the predicted logistical concerns.
The DTI has not yet provided additional details on the incentive package other than its still being in the planning stage.
Nelson Dela Cruz is Baird Maritime's Philippines correspondent and a former local facilitator of Interferry's FerrySafe project in Manila and Cebu.