February 26, 2018
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Bangkok-based Mahanakorn Partners Group Co. Ltd. will be undertaking feasibility studies of major infrastructure projects to be built here under the government’s transportation-infrastructure development program.
The Thai holding company, with interests in business consulting, legal and trade finance, as well as property management and development, signed here last week a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to conduct the studies free of charge.
The agreement was signed by MPG managing partner Luca Bernardinetti and SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma.
Eisma said the Subic agency proposed the projects under the “Greater Subic Bay Freeport Multimodal Transport and Access and Logistics Support Projects” program, which was designed in support of President Duterte’s “10 point agenda” to accelerate infrastructure spending and pump-prime economic development through productivity, trade and investment.
The projects are expected to be funded through the P3.1-trillion allocation for transportation-infrastructure development set by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) under the country’s P7.27-trillion infrastructure development requirements.
“The projects focus on the different infrastructure developments to be established in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone to catalyze its upgrading toward being a premier free port zone in Asia and the Pacific,” Eisma said.
“We want to help resolve congestion at the Port of Manila and ease traffic gridlock in the metropolis, while shifting the momentum of development north toward the corridor of new wealth in Subic and Clark,” she added.
Under the MOU, Mahanakorn Partners will gauge the viability of three major infrastructure projects proposed for the Subic Bay Freeport.
These are the construction of a 17.273-kilometer bypass road connecting the Subic seaport terminals directly to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx); construction of a 17-kilometer bypass road Subic seaport to Segment 7 of the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex), a two-lane, cargo-truck expressway and railway system and a 25-kilometer bypass road from Tipo Road in Bataan to Castillejos, Zambales; and the upgrading of the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA).
The first project is designed to provide exclusive routes for cargoes brought in and out of Subic Freeport, while the second proposal seeks to open up a 3,000 hectare new industrial site at Subic’s Redondo Peninsula near the Hanjin shipyard.
(c) Henry Empeño