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TO HOST BIGGER SHIPS, BOOST INCOME
P135.8-M port dev’t projects set in Subic
By Malou Dungog

Jun 07, 2018

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said it has commenced major infrastructure projects that would significantly develop the Port of Subic to provide better services to port users and accommodate bigger maritime vessels.

SBMA chairman and administrator Wilma T. Eisma said a total of P135.8 million has been allocated for the said projects that are designed to increase the number of shipping lines visiting Subic and to boost port revenue.

“From merely a handful just a few years back, the number of commercial shipping lines regularly visiting Subic has now reached 23—and these do not include the growing number of cruise ships that are docking in Subic and bringing in tourists,” Eisma pointed out.

“With the completion of these three port projects by next year, we expect to see more attractive and more efficient port facilities, more customers coming in, and more income for the port,” she added.

According to the SBMA Seaport Department, the Subic port generated P1.17 billion in 2017, which is 3.27 percent higher than the P1.13 billion collected in 2016.

The commercial vessels now plying the Subic route include some of the biggest shipping lines: NYK Fil-Japan Shipping Corp., APL, Maersk Line, Evergreen Line, K Line, and Wan Hai.

Meanwhile, at least 20 cruise ships have confi rmed to visit Subic this year beginning February when the Italian-flagged MV Costa Atlantica arrived with about 2,500 passengers and crew. Bigger cruise ships with about 4,500 persons on board are expected to arrive once port facilities here are fully developed, Eisma said.

SBMA Seaport Department general manager Jerome Martinez said the port projects are contained in three packages, with fund appropriation from the SBMA and the national government.

Package 1, which has actually been completed last year, includes the repair of SBMA Seaport’s ISPS CCTV Surveillance System Phase I which covers the area of the former Naval Supply Depot, New Container Terminal, and Kalaklan Sector Light.

This package cost P4.28 million and was funded by the SBMA. Package II includes rehabilitation of port facilities and navigational equipment with the installation of 11 new navigational buoys, including the provision of tracking system for the existing navigational buoys at the Port of Subic.

The project is being funded by the national government in the amount of P47.5 million and is expected to be completed next year. Package III, also funded by the national government in the amount of P83.9 million, includes the rehabilitation of the NSD Road Network Project (Phase 2) and is expected to be finished next year.

Martinez said the CCTV surveillance system for the port will augment traffic monitoring and security surveillance in the area. “With this, port users would feel safer because they know their properties are protected 24/7 against theft, vandalism and unauthorized entry,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the new navigational buoys and tracking system will improve safety of ships, especially the gigantic Quantum-class cruise and cargo ships, as these will update ship skippers on maritime information and help determine their current position in relation to land and hidden underwater features.

Martinez said this is more necessary with the arrival in Subic of bigger cruise ships like MS World Dream, which has gross tonnage of 151,300, or the Quantum-class MS Ovation of the Seas with 168,666 gross tons.




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