Manila: Businessmen and economic experts have proposed that Subic Bay should be developed into a “mother port” to make the country more competitive in the Asia-Pacific region.
‘The proposal was raised recently by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). Meneleo Carlos, NCC Infrastructure Working Group champion, said that Subic is closer to most major sea lanes, so it would be easy for mother ships used in transshipment to pass by Subic and pick up cargoes for direct delivery to destinations like Europe. Carlos said the use of the Subic Bay Freeport as mother port will result in faster shipment, lower cost, and more profits and jobs. “Shipment will be faster,” he said, pointing out that cargoes from the country won’t have to be transshipped anymore through Hong Kong or Singapore. Carlos said that NCC is now looking at the possibility of moving more cargo through Subic with the use of 50 to 80 teu barges that will carry cargo from Batangas, Cavite, Manila, and Bataan. Meanwhile, moving goods between manufacturing centers in the country through water transport could prove to be more economical, provided that adequate systems for handling roll-on, roll-off (RORO) vessels are provided, Carlos added.