31 August 2012

Passenger/cargo hub plans for Subic, Clark

Subic and Clark are poised for greater growth as over P100 billion worth of existing infrastructure and road projects and those still in the pipeline are designed to turn the two freeports into world-class passenger and cargo hubs.

“The most relevant goal is to create a world-class passenger mobility and cargo distribution network,” Arsenio M. Balisacan, secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and NEDA director-general, said at the recently held Subic Bay Maritime Conference and Exhibit 2012.

Balisacan said the Aquino administration envisions Subic and Clark as centers that will provide globally competitive passenger mobility and cargo distribution services.

This is on the back of strong economic performance and the presence of the private sector in the shipping business in Subic, a former US naval base, and in Clark, a former US Air Force base.

Because of this, Balisacan said the government and the private sector have invested some P53.4 billion. In addition, there are other projects in the pipeline totaling more than P49 billion.

“Opportunities abound for the maritime industry as investments in Central Luzon continue to grow. Almost P180 billion of new investments were generated in 2011 as compared with the P70 billion new investments in 2010,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan further said that the government’s private-public partnership program in Central Luzon will also boost growth in the region, including its maritime industry.

Among the infrastructure projects in the Subic and Clark area are as follows: the completion of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex); rehabilitation of the North Luzon Expressway; construction of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway and the Central Luzon Link Expressway; widening of MacArthur Highway; rehabilitation of the Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road; rehabilitation of Daang Maharlika, and opening of the Capas-Botolan Road, which will continue to improve access to Subic and Clark.

The construction of Dingalan Port in Aurora and concreting of the Dingalan-Gabaldon Road complete an overland Pacific-West Philippine Sea connection through Subic Port, Balicasan said. (Jennifer Ambanta, Malaya)