By Jonas Reyes
Subic Bay Freeport earned a whopping R1.2 billion from port operations revenues last year, and an increase in containerized cargo volume.
According to SBMA Chairperson Atty. Wilma Eisma, the figures from the SBMA Seaport Department indicated a total income of R1,173,720,042 from January to December 2017, slightly higher than the R1.137-billion revenue collection in 2016.
“The continuing effort of the Seaport Department to upgrade its process flow minimized transaction time and attracted more and more importers and exporters to use the Port of Subic,” Eisma said.
Eisma added that the number of containerized cargo has increased to 139,980 for the twenty-footer equivalent units (TEUs) last year from 124,707 in 2016.
She said that the increase in containerized cargo made up for the 6 percent decrease in the volume of non-containerized cargo last year.
Last year’s non-containerized cargo was only at 6,646,322 metric tons compared to 2016’s 7,071,444 metric tons.
Accordingly, the SBMA Seaport Department processed 66,172 TEUs of imported containerized products in 2017, which was nine percent higher than the 60,593 TEUs processed in 2016.
Meanwhile, the department processed last year 25,007 TEUs of exported containerized products, which was six percent higher than the 23,527 TEUs in 2016.
The increase in import-export volume that passed through the Port of Subic likewise resulted in a significant increase of containerized cargoes transshipped in the Freeport: 1,462 TEUs in 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 Phils., Inc.; paper materials by Trust International Paper Corp. and rubber by Yokohama Tire Phils., Inc., which were all sourced from Japan.
Likewise, the growth in export revenue was attributed to increased export of tires by Yokohama Tires Phils. to Japan; Juken Sangyo Phils. for veneer lumber also to Japan and HLD Clark Steel Pipe Co. for steel pipes to the United States.
Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act
Martinez also said that another factor in seaport revenue growth was the implementation of Republic Act 10668, also known as the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, which allowed arriving or departing ships to carry foreign cargo to its Philippine port of final destination, after being cleared at its port of entry or exit.