The Philippine government has big plans for Subic Bay. The former US naval base is now a freeport zone. Its biggest investor is the South Korean shipbuilding company, Hanjin Heavy Industries.

More than 20,000 Filipinos work at Hanjin and the number is likely to rise. But the shipyard has been plagued with allegations of poor safety standards and labour rights abuses.  Workers’ organisations have recorded 32 deaths and at least 5,000 injuries since operations began in 2005. Activists are up in arms and have started calling on the government to pressure Hanjin to improve things. But the Philippines is counting on foreign investment to shore up its economy. Can it afford to offend a company as powerful as Hanjin?

Commissioned by Al Jazeera English for 101 East.