07 September 2012

TO DRIVE GROWTH: Private sector pushes Subic port

The private sector is calling for better utilization of the Subic Bay Port to enhance growth of the local shipping industry and economy of Central Luzon that is served by the freeport.

Ramon T. de Leon, chairman of the Pac-Atlantic Group, said during the recently concluded shipping industry conference in Subic that the private sector wants to improve utilization of the economic zone’s port not only to increase revenues but also to enhance its business potential.

De Leon said better utilization of the port’s facilities will bring more opportunities for the local shipping sector, which is mostly based in Manila’s North Harbor, and may even grab the attention of those who would want to set up new branches.

“More opportunities for freight forwarders, brokers and truckers in Subic, establish new or branch offices, promote fair competition, and local job creation,” de Leon said in his presentation.

He also pointed out that utilization of the Subic port will help de-congest Manila’s roads and ports, saying “this may lead to increased productivity, less pollution, and fuel savings.”

De Leon also urged the government to come up with facilities that port operators and shipping industry players can rely on for fast, credible statistical information.

“Determine accurate Central/Northern Luzon shipping data and present to shipping lines,” de Leon said.

De Leon also believes that a law should also be enacted to pursue the utilization of the port in Subic to fulfill commitments beforehand.

He also said the government should give firm authority and mandate to the organizations it had created to promote Subic.

According to de Leon, in 2011, Subic New Container Terminal 1 handled 27,671 TEUs.

He said this number can be improved further if the Subic port is highly utilized.

De Leon concluded that utilization of Subic Bay Port will bring about positive synergies in businesses related to shipping.

“The benefits extend to other stakeholders: locators, vessel operators, logistics service providers, port operators and the national government,” de Leon said. (Jennifer Ambanta, Malaya Business Insight)