Subic Bay pitches Manila alternative

Subic Bay pitches Manila alternative

Plans to decongest traffic in the capital of the Philippines see multiple ports pitching ideas to government. The latest comes from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), which is proposing to build a coastal highway and railway to link the free port to the Port of Manila as part of efforts to decongest the metropolis.

The 100 km elevated expressway-railway would take two years to build at a cost of P100bn, SBMA chairman Martin Diño has claimed.

“It is time to shift the momentum of development north toward Subic and Clark … the country is losing an estimated P3bn a day from the traffic mess, [which is] so grave that it needs emergency powers to straighten it out … the most viable and doable solution to the traffic congestion lies outside the metropolis,” Diño said over the weekend.

Subic Bay lies to the north of Manila. Last week, ICTSI, a Manila-headquartered terminal operator, suggested building a terminal in Cavite to the south of Manila to help alleviate dreadful traffic in the capital.

Another port to the south of Manila, Batangas, has also tried to position itself as an alternative gateway to Manila.

Traffic in Manila is among the worst in Southeast Asia and port congestion is a very common sight.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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