From the “bangkang papel” (paper ship) days of hopelessness and despair, the Philippines has transformed into one that can build ships of progress and confidence, according to President Benigno S. Aquino III.
In his speech at the naming and ceremonial delivery of the SC Cape Size Bulk Carrier Tenshu Maru here Wednesday, the President said the country has indeed gone a long way, thanking the ship manufacturer, Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (THI) Cebu Inc. Shipyard, for making such leap a reality.
“Today we are naming the biggest ship ever to be built on a Philippine shipyard. Thank you for your investments, the 11,000 jobs you created, the trust and confidence in our nation and for expressing your solidarity with our agenda of hope,” he said.
The President also thanked the company’s local partner, the Aboitiz Group, for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects like building a hospital, public market and school buildings in Balamban and neighboring municipalities.
“I remain positive that it is only the first step to a more fruitful partnership in the years to come,” the President said.
As the country’s ship captain, he said, “we are now unfurling our sails and carried by the wind of our people’s trust, their optimism and the honor and esteem that our nation has reclaimed from across the globe, we will get to where we deserve to be.”
The President said he will go to Yokohama, Japan for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Thursday expecting to bring home more good news from the private companies of one of the country’s longest-standing partners and allies.
He led the christening of the 185-dead weight ton bulk carrier, Tenshu Maru and the breaking of traditional bottle of champagne at the ship’s bow by cutting the cord using a small golden axe and the simultaneous release of giant confetti from the ship’s deck.
“This ceremony signifies our readiness to set sail. Hope lives in the Philippines, and powered by this hope, we have begun the journey toward the achievement of our aspirations. The time of darkness is over; daylight is finally peeking from beneath the clouds,” the President stressed.
He called on the people and the country’s partners: “Steel yourselves, tighten your grasp on the railings of hope. Let us not allow ourselves to be carried away by pettiness, pessimism, and the winds of overblown bad news.
“I plead to everyone: do not let go. Do not be swayed by those who wish only to preserve the old ways of lying, cheating, and stealing, of putting their own interest above and that of everyone else’s. We have achieved much in such a short time, and we stand to achieve so much more. Join us in this journey toward progress,” the Chief Executive said.