SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bangkok-based Mahanakorn Partners Group Co., Ltd. (MPG) for the conduct of studies on the viability of various infrastructure projects proposed for construction inside this premier freeport.
SBMA chairman and administrator Wilma T. Eisma and MPG managing partner Luca Bernardinetti on Tuesday signed the agreement here that would allow MPG to conduct studies free of charge on infrastructure undertakings under the proposed “Greater Subic Bay Freeport Multimodal Transport and Access and Logistics Support Projects.”
According to Eisma, the proposed projects are in support of President Duterte’s “Ten Point Agenda” to accelerate infrastructure spending and pump-prime economic development through productivity, trade and investment.
“The projects focus on the different infrastructure developments to be established in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone to catalyze its upgrading towards being a premier freeport zone in Asia and the Pacific,” Eisma said.
“We want to help resolve congestion at the Port of Manila and ease traffic gridlock in the metropolis while shifting the momentum of development north toward the corridor of new wealth in Subic and Clark,” she added.
Eisma said that Subic and Clark are now at the epicenter of development as drivers of economic growth in the country.
Part of the study to be conducted will focus on the proposed construction of a 17.273-kilometer bypass road connecting the Subic seaport terminals directly to the SubicClark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) to provide exclusive routes for cargoes brought in and out of Subic Freeport.
Another project for study is the proposal to build a 17-kilometer bypass road Subic seaport to Segment 7 of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), a two-lane cargo trucks expressway and railway system, and a 25-kilometer bypass road from Tipo Road in Bataan to Castillejos, Zambales en route to the Redondo Peninsula to open up a 3,000-hectare new industrial site.
The MOU also covers the proposed upgrading of the existing Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) to world-class status, making it a viable alternative to the heavily congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), as well as a strategic transshipment and logistics hub in the Asian region.
Eisma said that under the agreement, the feasibility studies to be conducted by MPG on the proposed projects is free-of-charge and has no future legal or financial commitment from the SBMA.
The agreement between the two parties will remain in force for one year, but may be extended upon mutual consent.
The Mahanakorn Partners Group is a holding compa- ny based in Bangkok, Thailand.
It is comprised of several firms providing services on business consulting, legal and trade fi nance, as well as property management and development, among others.