President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo witnessed today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Korean firm Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Ltd. (HHICC) and Phividec Industrial Authority (PIA) on the construction of a US$2-billion shipbuilding complex here.

Signing for HHICC was the company's president Park Kyu Woon while Administrator Nimfa de Ocampo signed for PIA. Phividec is the acronym of Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation.

The President lauded the "billion-peso plus" investment, saying it would provide jobs and livelihood to some 40,000 Filipinos, especially those living near the shipbuilding facility.

She also said that the new investment clearly reflects the favorable outlook of the country in the international community.

"Foreign investment (in the country) has grown five-fold from 2003 to 2006 alone. It has continued to rise at double-digit rate in 2007," the President said.

"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 sector and Mittal Global's upcoming integrated steel mill in Iligan City, among others," she added.

"The world is taking notice of the new Philippines that we are working hard to create. That is why Hanjin is bringing US$2-billion to Misamis Oriental," the President said.

Under the MOU, HHICC will establish a shipbuilding complex inside the 3,000-hectare Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental (PIE-MO).

The Misamis Oriental Shipbuilding Complex is the second shipyard to be built by Hanjin in the Philippines. The Korean firm’s first shipyard in the country is at Subic Bay in Zambales.

To be constructed in Park V of PIE-MO, the complex covers an area of approximately 440 hectares.

Phividec is a government-owned and controlled corporation established under Presidential Decree 538 as amended by PD 1491. PIA was established to develop and professionally administer the 3,000-hectare Phividec Industrial Estate (PIE-MO) located in the municipalities of Tagoloan and Villanueva in Misamis Oriental.

PGMA distributes checks, scholarship certificates and tool kits to deserving Misamis Oriental residents

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo distributed checks, scholarship certificates and tool kits to deserving residents of Misamis Oriental as part of the commemoration activities marking the 78 th anniversary celebration today of Misamis Oriental at the Provincial Capitol here.

The checks represented the allocation for the implementation of the Department of Agriculture's Mindanao North Coast Integrated Area Development Project (MNCIADP) in four Misamis Oriental towns, namely Claveria, Villanueva, Jasaan and Tagaloan.

MNCIADP is a program that focuses productivity efforts in the Strategic Agricultural and Fishery and Development Zones (SAFDZ).

The project is expected to provide "triggers" for sustained agri-fishery-industry sectors' growth within the four major development zones namely: Highland Plateau Development Zone, Cagayan-Iligan Expanded Corridor Development Zone, Panguil Bay-Mt. Malindang Development Zone, and Bukidnon Corn-Livestock Strategic Development Zone.

The President distributed the following counterpart funds from the DA to the various LGUs to support the project implementation: Villanueva, P2,203,330; Tagaloan, P1,163,825; Claveria, P969,550; Jasaan, P1,769,000; Misamis Oriental, P650,000.

The President also distributed Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) scholarship certificates for the training of welding and heavy equipment operators.

She said the distribution of scholarships was timely as South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co. Ltd. is about to build its second shipbuilding facility in Misamis Oriental and would require skilled welders and heavy equipment operators to fill in their work requirements.

The President likewise distributed tool kits to “PGMA Galing Mekaniko Ako” scholars who recently passed the mechanical course. The kits contain the basic tools needed by mechanics such as screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers.

Misamis Oriental Gov. Oscar Moreno received the tool kits on behalf of the mechanics and promised to distribute it immediately.

Before returning to Manila, the President inspected the newly constructed Kagay-an Bridge located in the vicinity of Barangays Carmen, Nazareth and Macasandig.

The P332.098-million bridge, the city's fifth bridge project that spans across the Cagayan de Oro River, has four lanes and is 20 meters wide and 168 meters long.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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