HERMA GROUP LAUNCHES NEWEST PETROLEUM TANKER M/T MATAPAT
“More than just a means of transportation, a ship is a symbol of what is possible if you really make the
sacrifices required to make dreams come true.’’
Vice President Jejomar Binay couldn’t have expressed these words at a more opportune time than during the launch of M / Tkr Matapat, the newest internationally-classed petroleum tanker to join the fleet of Herma Group.Vice President Binay led government officials, businessmen, members of the diplomatic corps, maritime industry players and foreign guests in gracing the occasion held at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City that ushered in a new milestone in the 29-year history of The Herma Group, the country’s leading company in the business of transporting petroleum via tankers and barges.
The Vice President cited the occasion as both a celebration of the Filipino’s long-revered seafaring
tradition, and as an affirmation of the Filipino’s innate capability to build ships and sail the seas.
“Kung babalikan natin ang kasaysayan, tayong mga Pilipino ay tanyag na mandaragat bago pa man
dumating ang mga Kastila. Nakapaglayag ang ating mga ninuno gamit ang balanghay. Ito ay katunayan ng
husay ng ating mga ninuno sa paggawa ng bangka na may tibay at lakas,’’ Vice President Binay said.
The Vice President continued: “The biggest names in the maritime industry look to Filipino sailors
and shipbuilders first, and there is no sign of slowing down. I have no doubt that this endeavor will
inspire others and will contribute to the vigor of domestic shipping.’’
Herma Group chairman and CEO Herminio S. Esguerra welcomed guests on this momentous event,
which he said was much more than a turnover of M/Tkr Matapat from the Herma Shipyard, Inc. to sister
company Herma Shipping and Transport Corporation “Tanker Matapat is a tangible manifestation of
the ‘Kaya Natin Ito’ spirit of the Filipino. It is a resounding message that tells the world that
YES, the Filipino can. I stand here proud before you, because instead of simply procuring a tanker
from abroad, we again, said YES to the challenge,” Esguerra stated.
Esguerra added: “Tonight is their celebration-from the humble welders, to the engineers,
to the naval architects, the management and staff of Herma Shipyard Inc., and Herma Shipping and
Transport Corporation, and all the hearts and minds that invested themselves in making this vessel
a reality. Tonight, I salute the Filipino shipbuilder because Tanker Matapat was built by Filipinos,
for the Filipinos.’’
M/Tkr Matapat is the 16th vessel locally built for The Herma Group fleet, joining the company’s
ever expanding fleet of vessels, both purchased abroad and built locally for Herma Shipping and
Transport Corporation and Petrotrade Philippines, Inc. M/Tkr Matapat is specifically designed
for the unique conditions of Philippine waters, and is certified by the American Bureau of
Shipping as an internationally-classed A1 oil carrier.
Over 200 shipbuilding experts in 25 areas of expertise were involved in the building of the
tanker which is 86.10 meters long, 13.720 meters in breadth and 5.000 meters deep; and building
it took 570,000 manhours clocked.
A CHALLENGE TO RESPOND TO
In 2008, Herma Shipyard rolled out M/Tkr Matikas, its first internationally-classed vessel.
It was a feat that was very hard to top back then, prompting Esguerra to ask what was next for
the local shipbuilding industry.
Today, after launching Tanker Matapat, Esguerra is asking the same question – and more.
“Furthermore, I ask: How do we make Philippine shipbuilding an instrument of progress for
the entire country? May I direct this question to the leaders of the maritime industry? And
more importantly to that of the Philippine government,’’ he said in his welcome remarks.
Esguerra said they are looking forward to the direction that the government will set for the
industry, just how a rudder steers a ship and direct its course. The Herma Group chairman
believes that the company can supply majority of the shipping needs of the country, given the
necessary support and incentives that the government can extend.
“We want the direction to be directed by the government. All opportunities are in this
country. The future of Philippine shipbuilding is bright. The Herma Group is committed to
continue building ships as we move forward in alignment with our national development
agenda,’’ he emphasized.
Nevertheless, The Herma Group neither sits on its laurels nor waits for things to happen.
It makes things happen by blazing industry trails and facing challenges head on. It responds
to the call for nation building by doing what it does best.
“With pride, we at Herma have taken on this challenge emboldened by our unwavering faith
in Filipino ingenuity. It is about giving the Filipino shipyard workers a clear choice for
employment right in their homeland—a way to earn a living while enjoying the warmth of family
and home. It is about sharing the socio-economic benefits of ship building with our key
stakeholders. Motor Tanker Matapat best represents what we can collectively achieve as a
people,’’ Esguerra stated.