27 April 2015

Subic ready to serve as major port

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—A Cabinet member said this free port is ready to serve as an alternative facility for international shipping companies to help decongest the Port of Manila.

“Subic Bay has so much potential because of its existing port, infrastructure, roads and electricity,” said Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, who heads the Cabinet cluster on port congestion.

He said the free port was ready to become a transshipment hub for foreign cargo.

“Subic will become more accessible with the exciting new developments in Central and northern Luzon,” Almendras told the Second Subic Bay Maritime Conference and Exhibit here on Friday.

He said the North Luzon Expressway, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway hastened travel time for trucks carrying cargo to and from this free port.

“Congestion is a reality in mega cities all over the world. The solution is to decongest the cities and this will open an opportunity for Subic,” Almendras said.

He said the government had to add port capacity elsewhere outside Metro Manila.

In a position paper presented during the conference, business groups in Central Luzon endorsed a co-loading bill, which would open interisland shipping to foreign vessels.

“The passage of the bill into law will broaden the market of the Subic free port outside Luzon,” they said.

The position paper was signed by the presidents of various chambers of commerce, exporters and investors in Pampanga and this port. (Allan Macatuno, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

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