The Philippines: AGHAM Calls for Naval, Ship-Building Self-Reliance

first_img In light of the recent Tubbataha incident, activist scientist group AGHAM or Advocates of Science and Technology for the People called on the Philippine government to build a national ship-building industry that will strengthen the country’s capacity to protect its own territory and marine resources. “If only the country had a booming shipping industry, we wouldn’t have to rely on the US Navy to solve simple issues as dismantling a wrecked ship such as the USS Guardian. There wouldn’t have been a need to contract marine salvaging companies from Singapore and other neighboring countries to do the job,” said AGHAM Chairperson Giovanni Tapang.AGHAM stated that it could only be ensured that least damage would be done to the Tubbataha Reef Park if the removal of the US warship is conducted by a capacitated naval fleet under Philippine command—a scenario only possible if the country has its own ship-building industry. “A national industrialization program should direct our country towards achieving important industries like ship-building. Unless we develop our own, our country will always be at the mercy of the US and other countries with well-established shipbuilding industry when it comes to shipping and naval engineering,” noted Tapang.The Philippines is surrounded with water and the Filipinos are one of the earliest sea navigators. Tapang said the country also has the biggest number of seamen working in various ships around the world.“Ironically, the country has no shipbuilding industry,” he added.“A ship-building industry is part and parcel of a comprehensive national industrialization program which will not only provide millions of jobs in the science and technology sector but will also get rid of our dependence from the US and other foreign powers,” said Tapang.Cargo, passenger, and big fishing ships sailing Philippine seas are all imported from other countries. Even ships used by domestic shipping lines mostly come from foreign countries like Japan and bear foreign signages. “We must construct our own naval industry with local engineers and technicians who can inspect, repair, and rehabilitate wrecked ships. We must build strategic shipyards and strengthen the entire archipelago as a self-reliant naval stronghold,” said Tapang.The Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board (TPAMB) has approved a salvage plan for safely removing minesweeper USS Guardian. The removing will minimize further damage to the UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site.SMIT Salvage, Singapore, received on Feb. 1, 2013, a $24,889,904 contract to provide support for emergency response and recovery operations for the USS Guardian (MCM 5) grounding on Tubbataha Reef, Sulu Sea, the Philippines.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, February 8, 2013 Back to overview,Home naval-today The Philippines: AGHAM Calls for Naval, Ship-Building Self-Reliance Industry news February 8, 2013 View post tag: News by topic View post tag: the The Philippines: AGHAM Calls for Naval, Ship-Building Self-Reliance View post tag: calls View post tag: Philippines View post tag: Ship-building View post tag: AGHAM View post tag: Navy View post tag: Self-Reliance View post tag: Naval Share this articlelast_img

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