Subic Bay Freeport – Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Jonathan D. Tan said the P5.5-billion joint venture between the agency and the Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) will spur growth.
Tan said the 10-year Subic Port joint venture will revitalize the ports, yards, and cargo handling inside this Freeport. The joint venture also includes the development, operation and management of several ports inside the former US naval base.
“Our goal at SBMA is in line with HCPTI’s goal of creating more employment opportunities, generate new income, boost the tourism, attract more foreign and local investments, and expand the trading business in Subic,” he said.
He added the upgrade of the port facilities is expected to improve cargo processing efficiency, reduce ship turnaround times, and increase the volume of bulk and break bulk cargo handled.
Tan has attended the inauguration of the HCPTI on Tuesday which was held at the NSD Compound.
HCPTI Chairman Romero said with the Subic Port operation, the country is now able to provide enough buffer from global inflation and regional conflicts. He cited that unrest in Ukraine and Israel has put a damper on the global economy.
“Sustainability in business may face threats due to some uncertainties, especially from external forces like the unrest in Ukraine and Israel. But I remain confident, considering that our economy can withstand external shocks which has been proven many times over – from the 1997 Asian financial crisis to the 2008 global economic meltdown and all the way to the recent covid-induced market slump and worldwide inflation,” Romero said.
“Thanks to the fact that our economy is driven by consumption such that the nation can consume what it can produce. To a large extent, it makes our economy virtually self-sustaining. But to ensure economic expansion amid the growing domestic requirements, we have to trade beyond our borders and attract foreign capital and technologies,” said Romero, apparently hinting at the priority goals of the SBMA-HCPTI joint venture.
Romero said they will now embark in the modernization of the 50-hectare area of the Subic Port and the digitalization of its operations.