THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) expects a further increase in cargo traffic at the Subic Port following the appointment of lawyer Wilma Eisma as the freeport’s new administrator.
“With an excellent working team, now we can really move forward at Subic in our goal to raise investments and revenues, eliminate smuggling and stamp out corruption,” SBMA Chairman Martin Dino said in a statement.
Eisma, who will replace former administrator Roberto Garcia, is expected to bring to Subic her wide management experience upon her takeover next week.
“It is great start to a new year in our effort to turn Subic into an anchor of national growth,” Dino said, vowing to promote Subic as a major alternative gateway for international cargos.
The SBMA chief said he has already received approval from Transportation Secretary Art Tugade to place his proposal for a 100-km multimodal elevated railway and expressway linking Subic Port to the Port of Manila under the emergency powers of the Executive, for the approval of Congress.
The P100-billion project is seen greatly relieving port and traffic congestion in Metro Manila and increase cargo transit at Subic Port, which is currently operating at only one-third of its rated capacity of 600,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers.
Dino also disclosed that his team is already working on increasing Subic Bay Port’s capacity for its new container terminals 3 and 4 by an additional 600,000 TEUs, which Dino calls “absolutely necessary” in this “age of Asean integration.”
Dino, who was appointed by Malacanang last September, said that there are no more roadblocks to implementing wide-ranging reforms in Subic “because now we can truly say we have an excellent working team.”
He hopes that President Rodrigo Duterte would also name the remaining members of the SBMA Board, the policy-making body, so that the Freeport “can move rapidly and urgently in seeking new investments and building much-needed infrastructure.”