Home » Customs & Trade, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » SBMA to shell out P2.4B for repair of Subic piers, wharves

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is allocating the bulk of its budget for 2018 to renovating Subic Port as more cruise ships are expected to come in, according to newly appointed SBMA chairperson and administrator Wilma T. Eisma.

She said SBMA has allotted P2.46 billion of its P3.548-billion infrastructure budget for next year for the rehabilitation of the piers and wharves at Subic port, which she described as the “heart and soul” of Subic Bay Freeport.

“The piers and wharves are undeniably the biggest assets of Subic Bay, and our sea port generates the biggest income among all the SBMA units,” Eisma said. “We need to put these assets in top condition so that we can service more vessels and also get top returns for our investments.”

She added that they have “concluded talks with some cruise liners and the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which will dock in Subic starting next May, but we cannot bring in those with passenger capacity of up to 5,000 because our piers are not yet upgraded.”

Eisma cited in particular Alava Pier, which services military and passenger vessels at Subic, saying it needs dredging and its piles need strengthening if the pier is to accommodate bigger cruise ships.

She said that attending a cruise forum last August made her realize how necessary it is to rehabilitate Alava Pier and bring it on a par with global cruise standards.

Eisma said that although Subic has its own airport, it will focus more on the development of its seaport over the air hub.

“With the money the government is pouring into Clark today, Subic cannot hope to compete with its airport, so we have to prioritize development of our seaport,” she said.

Subic Port has a total of 15 piers and wharves that can serve various purposes, from transshipment of containerized and break-bulk cargoes, fuels and lubricants, grains and fertilizer, to servicing vessels and passengers.

The port also offers key services like cargo handling, pilot and tugboat services, ship chandling, bunkering and tendering, ship agency, onboard repair, cargo surveying, underwater surveying, and vessel lay-up and line handling.

Aside from repair works, SBMA also plans to undertake major projects such as upgrade the facilities of Subic Bay International Airport, concretize and repair roads, do dredging works, build the proposed SBMA-Olongapo Museum, and construct the Magsaysay Bridge, which leads to the Freeport main gate.

Also part of plans is to build an SBMA corporate center to house its various offices that are scattered among several U.S. Navy-era buildings.

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