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A Philippine alternative to China's takeover of Subic shipyard

Nationalizing the strategic port could save jobs and build a national industry

| Philippines
It is high time for the Philippine government to build a domestic naval industry.    © Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines

The possible Chinese purchase of a strategic shipyard in the Philippines has provoked an angry backlash in the country, reflecting simmering anxieties regarding President Rodrigo Duterte's Beijing-friendly stance. But there is an alternative solution which would save jobs, build a key national industry and maintain security.

Unable to service $1.3 billion in debt, the Philippine subsidiary of South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin filed for bankruptcy protection in January. It sought help from the Philippine government to rescue its Subic Bay facility, once the world's fifth largest shipbuilding yard, and save the jobs of its 3,000 workers.

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