SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Newly appointed Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman Martin Diño is eyeing to strengthen and widen trade in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone by maximizing the Subic port and developing more business districts for investors.
“We need to maximize the use of the container terminal here to bring in more business and help solve the congestion in Manila ports,” Diño told the media when he assumed office on October 3.
“At the same time, we should find ways to accommodate more investments because the available area for further development in Subic is now very much limited,” he added.
Diño noted that the capacity of the New Container Terminal 1 and 2 in the Subic Bay Freeport “is more than enough to handle all the containers originating from and bound for Central and Northern Luzon.”
However, he said there was a need to develop a bigger logistics area to cater to the needs of the growing number of port users.
“This is why we need to explore the transfer of the Bataan Technology Park Inc. to the management of the SBMA,” Diño said. “We can spur the development of the entire area of BTPI into a central business district for shippers, logistics and other related industries, as the Subic Bay Freeport is already running out of developable lands.”
The 380-hectare BTPI is in Barangay Sabang in Morong, about 30 minutes away from the Subic Bay Freeport’s central business district. Once a UN High Commission’s Refugee Processing Center, the BTPI is ideal for light and customized manufacturing industries.
Proclamation 532 gave the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone, Subic a land and water area of some 67,452 hectares. Of this, the fenced area where much development has taken place is approximately 14,000 hectares, including a portion of the Redondo Peninsula.
However, beyond the fenced area, only about 2,800 hectares or about 20 percent are developable, while the remaining 11,200 hectares or about 80 percent of land and water area are high slopes, forests and protected areas.
To address the problem of land scarcity in Subic, Diño said, the SBMA will initiate multi-lateral dialogues with the City of Olongapo, the municipalities of Morong and Hermosa in Bataan, and the town of San Antonio in Zambales to identify areas for possible development.