Hanjin receiver gets down to work

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By Janina C. Lim, Reporter

THE REHABILITATION RECEIVER for Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines, Inc. (HHIC-Phil) has buckled down to work, aiming first to determine the viability of the shipbuilder’s plan to pay its creditors, suppliers and remaining workers.

Ang mahalaga dito makuha natin ‘yung rehabilitation plan, ‘yung approval by the court (What is important here is that we get the rehabilitation plan and court approval) because that is what we will be implementing maybe for months to come or for years to come,” Stefani C. Saño, the receiver appointed by the Olongapo City court that put HHIC-Phil under rehabilitation last Monday, said in a telephone interview on Friday.

Ang mahalaga ‘dun, kasama ang creditors sa pag-formulate and pag-implement ng plan (What is important there is that the creditors are involved both in formulating and implementing the plan),” said the former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority deputy administrator.

Isa-submit muna natin ang (We will first submit) preliminary findings if we can really push through with rehabilitation or altogether baguhin ‘yung plano (revise the plan), bearing in mind the interest of the community: mainly the creditors, suppliers and labor.”

The first order of the day, Mr. Saño said, would be to “preserve and conserve the assets”, adding: “[n]aglagay ako ng security guards na pwede pagdaanan ng assets (I have deployed security guards at points through which assets could be trucked away).”

On Monday, he will begin taking inventory of Hanjin’s assets with the help of a team consisting of four lawyers and three accountants who may likewise work full-time on the case.

May specific order ‘yung court that it should take custody of these assets,” Mr. Saño said.

“By Monday… starting that day… we would be monitoring the performance according to certain agreed-upon and court-approved targets.”

Noting that HHIC-Phil’s declared assets of about $1.5 billion compares to up to $412 million it still owed to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. ($145 million); Land Bank of the Philippines (reported at $85 million); the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. ($70 million); BDO Unibank, Inc. ($60 million) and the Bank of the Philippine Islands ($52 million), Mr. Saño said “[s]o pag tinignan mo ‘yun may chance na mabayaran talaga nila ‘yung obligation nila (so, when you take that into consideration, there is a good chance that HHIC-Phil can meet its obligations).”

He cited the need to get details of such obligations, including some $900 million owed to foreign outfits, saying “kasama daw ‘yung ‘di utang; kasama ‘yung supliers and some advances from other companies (this amount could include obligations that are owed to suppliers and advances from other companies).”

“So hindi siguro masyadong (It may not be) correct na i-lump mo ‘yung figures in one. So that’s one of the things we have to verify.”

The first court hearing, he said, is scheduled on Feb. 8.

Saying he will also be the point man for interested white knights, Mr. Saño said: “Marami nang tumawag (there are many that have inquired).”

“This week lang (alone), I have eight offers already, but basically I just asked them: ‘It will help us a lot if you come up with your letters of intent so that we have some basis for referral and evaluation’.”