SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) ended the past year with P1.2 billion in revenue generated from its seaport operations, posting a 3-percent annual increase on account of a 12-percent hike in the volume of containerized cargo processed in the Subic port.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the SBMA Seaport Department collected a total of P1,173,720,042 in revenue in the January-to-December period last year, compared to the P1.137 billion it made in 2016.
Eisma also attributed the growth in seaport income to “the continuing effort of the SBMA Seaport Department to upgrade its process flow.” She said this has minimized transaction time and attracted more importers and exporters to use the Port of Subic.
SBMA seaport figures indicated the volume of containerized cargo grew to 139,980 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2017, from just 124,707, TEUs in 2016.
This increase in containerized cargo had reportedly offset a 6-percent decrease last year in the volume of noncontainerized cargo, which fell to only 6,646,322 metric tons as against 7,071,444 metric tons in 2016.
SBMA data also showed that its Seaport Department processed 66,172 TEUs of imported containerized products in 2017, a 9-percent increase over the 60,593 TEUs processed in 2016.
Meanwhile, the department processed 25,007 TEUs of exported containerized products last year, which was 6 percent higher than the 23,527 TEUs in 2016.
The increase in import-export volume that passed through the Port of Subic also resulted in a significant increase of containerized cargoes transshipped in the free port: 1,462 TEUs from January to December 2017 against 368 TEUs in 2016, or an increase of 297 percent.
Jerome Martinez, head of the SBMA Seaport Department, said much of the increase in revenue was due to the growth in imported products like vehicle parts by Foton Motor Philippines Inc.; paper materials by Trust International Paper Corp.; and rubber by Yokohama Tire Philippines Inc., which were all sourced from Japan.
He said an increase in export revenue could also be attributed to increased export of tires by Yokohama Tires Philippines to Japan; Juken Sangyo Philippines for veneer lumber also to Japan; and HLD Clark Steel Pipe Co. for steel pipes to the United States.
Another factor in seaport revenue growth, Martinez said, was the implementation of Republic Act 10668, also known as the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, which allowed arriving or departing ships to carry a foreign cargo to its Philippine port of final destination, after being cleared at its port of entry or exit.
“This law tends to decrease, in some instances, vessel activities going to the Port of Subic, particularly in the importation and exportation of goods,” Martinez said.
“However, transshipment activities also increased.”
The devaluation of the peso against the US dollar and the unstable global price of crude oil in the world market, which caused a decline of the importation of petroleum products, also buoyed Subic seaport income, Martinez added.
Eisma expressed optimism for the Port of Subic this year, pointing out that one of the world’s largest cruise ships will be arriving here in June for a 12-hour tour of the Subic Bay area.
Eisma said the cruise-vacation giant Royal Caribbean International had confirmed this development after company officials led by Dr. Zinan Liu spent a two-day assessment of the Subic Bay area last December for the purpose of including Subic in the itinerary of RCI’s Asian cruise program.
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