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Sunday, April 22, 2012

DFA: Jobs await Pinoys at Canada shipyard

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said jobs await Filipinos at a shipyard in Canada which was awarded a 30-year contract to build warships for the Royal Canadian Navy.

Officials of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (ISI) in Halifax, Nova Scotia mentioned this to a Philippine team that visited the area last April 12.

The ISI is the largest shipbuilder in Canada and is a subsidiary of the Canadian industrial conglomerate J.D. Irving Limited.

While it is building nine Zodiac-Class fast patrol vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard, ISI is also girding for a new $25-billion major shipbuilding project.

In October last year, ISI was awarded a 30-year contract by the Canadian federal government to build 23 warships for the Royal Canadian Navy as part of its National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

"ISI (indicated) the Filipino work ethic is known worldwide and noted fine standards as evident in ships that have come to dock in Halifax that were built by Filipinos," the DFA said.

The DFA said Tim Brownlow, director of government affairs and business development, conveyed the "keen interest" of ISI in "exploring possible synergies in a variety of sectors and services with the Philippines."

"(Brownlow) credited the advanced skills set and experience of its workers for clinching the Royal Navy project and acknowledged the work ethic of Filipino crew members he has had to personally work with," the DFA said.

Philippine ambassador Leslie Gatan, who was leading the visiting economic diplomacy team, expressed optimism that the Philippines and Nova Scotia can come up with mutually beneficial arrangements.

Gatan cited the emerging position of the Philippines as a shipbuilding country and the established tradition of excellence of Halifax in the field.

"Both parties are expected to determine and finalize various areas of collaboration and cooperation in services and manufacturing soon," the DFA said.

Gatan, accompanied by Minister and Consul General Neil Frank Ferrer, First Secretary and Consul Eric Gerardo Tamayo, Labor Attaché Francisco Luna and Lisa Mantolino from the Filipino community in Halifax, visited ISI's shipbuilding facilities in Halifax, Nova Scotia on April 12

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