SBMA steps up P1.6B infra rehab

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is stepping up the rehabilitation of roads and other public infrastructure here with a P1.6-billion to be infused on the repair of major thoroughfares, key drainage systems, and critical eroded slopes.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the Subic agency is now simultaneously undertaking four road repair projects, two slope rehabilitation projects, and one drainage system improvement project to fix aging facilities constructed when Subic was still an American naval base.

“We have a lot to catch up on because there wasn’t much rehabilitation projects done since Subic became a free port in 1992,” Eisma said. “We are doing several projects concurrently, not only because we are hosting the upcoming Southeast Asian Games, but more so because we need to redevelop Subic and keep it sustainable as an area for investments.”

According to a project status report from the SBMA Engineering Department, there are 13 construction projects worth a total of P733.4 million that are in various stages of implementation. These include the repair of the El Kabayo Road and a slope rehabilitation project in the same area that were completed early this year.

The biggest chunk of the budget went to the 2018 road rehabilitation package which costs a total of P274.54 million and covers areas such as the Malawaan Park parking area, road ramp along Dewey Avenue, Waterfront Road, road to the New Container Terminal, Rizal Highway, Maritan Highway, as well as several roads in residential areas.

Eisma said the 2018 road project, which has a completion date of December 21, 2019, is expected to ease the traffic in some of the busiest roads in the Freeport.

Another major undertaking is the implementation of the P225.48-million 2019 Road Rehabilitation Project 2019, which is currently in the mobilization and as-stake survey stage.

Eisma said this project will consist of repairs along main roads like Argonaut Highway, San Bernardino Road, roads to Leyte Wharf and Sattler Pier duct banks, Rizal Highway, Boton Highway, Binictican Drive, and the approaches to Kalaklan Bridge and 14th Street Bridge.

Meanwhile, Naval Supply Depot (NSD) Road Rehabilitation Network Phase 2, which has a budget of P85.26 million, is expected to be completed by December 27 this year. The project consists of repairs of roads leading to the NSD Compound where most of grain and bulk shipments are handled.

“This is an area that has been battered by heavy trucks that carry tons of shipment from ships,” Eisma said, referring to the NSD Compound. “We are now rebuilding the U.S. Navy-era roads to take in more cargo traffic because of the growing transshipment operations here in Subic.”

Other on-going projects included some building renovation, construction of a fitness center and sentry kiosks, and rehabilitation of rubble mound for barrette light at the Subic airport.

Eisma also said that the SBMA has scheduled other upcoming projects worth P908.7 million. These include the P442.7-million Magsaysay Bridge project, which will replace the span leading to the Subic Bay Freeport’s main gate. The contract for the project is about to be issued, she added.

Other upcoming projects still under the agency’s Bids and Awards Committee are the P320-million NSD Road Rehabilitation Network Phase 3 project; a P3.6-million drainage and flood control project near the SBMA Dispensary; slope rehabilitation at Aparri Road worth P81.4 million; the P7-million construction of perimeter fence from Kalaklan to Kalayaan; and the P54-million Perimeter Road rehabilitation project.

Eisma said the SBMA has also engaged consultancy services for detailed engineering designs for various sea port projects and a drainage master plan for a total cost of P23.2 million.