Mum’s two-cents on the Philippines’ dying steel industry

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If you’ve been a loyal reader of my blog, I guess you’d know by now that I try to shun political or government topics as much as I can. These issues, together with topics on religion, can involve never-ending arguments and can also spark an assortment of reactions. Of course, on occasions, I break my own rule, especially if there is one particular issue or topic that piques my interest.

I am all for supporting Filipino companies and corporation, whatever industry that might be, if only they can provide quality local employment to our countrymen. I am sure that this is also the thrust of our local government.  After all, more local jobs would mean more happy constituents and improved over-all quality of life.

However, the government is once again put in a bad light, even in the midst of its aggressive campaign to attract investors to the Philippines and  after initiating various reforms to fight red tape and corruption in the bureaucracy, and all for a good reason. A lot of businesses, foreign and local alike, seem to think that doing business in the Philippines remains to this day a very difficult undertaking because of the frequent meddling by the courts, with little consideration of public interest. The judiciary seems to be losing the battle against corruption even after the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona who was linked to various corruption issues, and involved in a number of cases involving local corporations.

Take for example the case of Steel Corporation of the Philippines. SCP, a 100% Filipino-owned corporation, is the only remaining fully-integrated steel plant in the country, churning out high-quality and locally produced steel products and providing employment for thousands of Filipinos, was reported to have been forcibly brought to corporate rehabilitation by Banco De Oro {BDO},  upon the courts order, in the midst of pending unresolved claims {read about SCP’s full claims here} filed at the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. The rehabilitation court has, all of sudden, issued an order on 19 September 2012 converting the rehabilitation proceedings into one of liquidation based on the erroneous, dubious and outdated report of the rehab receiver.

This action of the rehab court said to have been presided over by Judge Ruben Galvez of the Batangas Regional Trial Court’s Fourth Judicial Region, Branch 3 has clearly violated SCP’s fundamental right to due process. And because of this, the already-in-pain local steel industry is now technically dead. This has also paved the way for the proliferation of  smuggled, sub-standard and unrated Chinese steel.

It was rather ironic that our country, rich with high-grade iron ores, as well as other minerals needed in steel production, has a dying steel industry. Most local steel plants have shut down and those who have been brave enough to overcome challenges, much like SCP struggled to do to survive, are cannibalized by wolves in 3-piece suit. And what’s sadder is that they have permission from our courts to do just that!

It is an outrage if you ask me. A clear insult to the Filipino nation and those who are in position ought to do something about this. Shouldn’t they be  helping out our fledgling industries instead of rendering them bankrupt or signing them off as candidates for rehabilitation?

I may not know much about these courts proceedings but I know full well that everyone is entitled to due process, it is everyone’s fundamental right. You cannot simply grab something that does not belong to you out of whim just because the powers-that-be consented it. Corporate conscience {for BDO, if this case is proven to be true} is clearly something that is missing in the picture, as well as honesty to uphold the values and foundations that have put up the institution you are serving in the first place {in the part of the rehabilitation officer who was reported to oversee this process}.

SCP would have continued on to serve a greater purpose for more people, instead of having a few people take advantage of its unfortunate situation. I hope the government will mediate to come up with a settlement that will be beneficial to SCP, too. I also hope this will serve as an eye-opener to our government officials and may they do not let other locally-owned corporations end up the same way.

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    1. it is so true + sad at the same time, that instead of supporting + promoting local businesses + industries, the government seem to permit activities to harm + stifle them 🙁

  1. this is sad, I hope our government take extra caution with this matter, parang lumalabas na walang tiwala ang government sa mga Filipino…:(

  2. The government in the Philippines should read this one so that they will know that they have done a lot of mistakes…

    1. i really hope they can read posts like this mommy. it is high time the government re-think their thrusts + their strategies in governing our country 🙁

    1. that is so true, the government would’ve earned millions in a year if only they will have sense to support local steel companies instead of allowing second-rated products to infiltrate our local market 🙁

  3. no wonder why many filipinos choose to work abroad because they think that they can’t get a better job in the Philippines. Hopefully, someday the system in the Philippines will change.

  4. That’s quite sad to lose such a great industry – one that our government should take really good care of. I hope the government will take another serious look at this issue.

  5. too bad because politics are involved with this kind of problems, i hope that we can able to put things into right places.

  6. This is a huge battle, I hope the government could help our fellow traders and the judiciary to be fair enough in addressing such case.

  7. soo sad and disappointing. Alam mo naman ang politika sa PH. kakaiba. Pag tingin nilang wala silang makukuha in return, they will just ignore you.

  8. It’s unfortunate that local companies are even the one being taken advantage of instead of being given incentives. While we look into foreign inflows, it’s also important that the environment support local business to thrive in the Philippines.

  9. I think the government needs a verbal beating from foreign expats living in the country and that they must humiliate the government via blogs and videos of how we subvert our local tradesmen and business. What is a third world country anyway?

    1. I really do not wish to humiliate anyone, all I wanted is for this issue to gain more attention and hopefully be resolved in a much sensible way. I know for sure that our government is doing whatever they can to change and improve, it is only sad that some people working in the government simply won’t cooperate…

  10. The title and look of your blog did not prepare me for such a topic! 🙂 The rich natural resources of our country are unfortunately being exploited by foreign companies and this is really exasperating! The mining and manufacturing industries really deserve more attention as these are the really big money making industries.

    1. I try to steer clear of topics such as this as i’ve mentioned above, but i thought there are issues and things that needed to be shared to my readers and this one is no exception 🙂 there were also too much controversies involved with the mining industry and i agree with what you said that this is because of the big money involved. Hopefully, the powers-that-be will be able to resolve these issues and just get back to working on improving these industries, as well as making them more environment and people-friendly.

  11. its the people-in charge (for now) that runs the system that makes it most vulnerable to corruptions, they paved way where the red tape will flourished. How can an average Juan play with the “lagay” system? Take example DENR who was supposed to protect the environment, they give permits (to cut down trees) to the untouchables because that person/s (involved) directly from the office was paid big time, for them a permit is just a piece of paper to sign.

  12. My husband in based in Zambales, where DMCI Steel Plant is located. I have learned that they export our products to Europe & China. When I thought about it, how come we source out some materials from other countries and yet we give ours to them? Weird.

    1. it is actually so sad to know that we are indeed rich in resources but lack the support to sustain industries like this one which we ought to have helped flourished instead so that we can help struggling local industries, right?

  13. I don’t normally syndicate posts that I place my comment on but I feel the need to tweet this one. Kudos to you for raising your opinion through this post, sis. Ang hilig lang talaga magbulag-bulagan yung ibang nasa posisyon, nakakahiya.

    1. that is so true sis, that is why i really think there is a need for people like us to be vigilant as well as raise awareness on issues such as this. thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. It’s the same with other local industries and agricultural produce .. and with other things for that matter – maybe they know something that we don’t know… but that kind of thing have been going for a very long time already.

  15. that is the problem with us Filipinos. We do not take pride in being us, we do not take pride in patronizing our local industries or local products. Kung meron man, ningas kugon lang and we always go back to made outside the philippines. This is so heartbreaking. I hope once and for all, we learn to support our local industrialists.

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