• 'Subic may ease MM traffic'

    Alvarez, a representative of Davao del Norte and secretarygeneral of President Rodrigo Duterte's political party PDPLaban, said modernizing the Subic port and optimizing its use will ease traffic jams in the capital that has caused productivity losses of at least P2.4 million a day.

    The lawmaker said expanding the volume of the Subic port was a "good idea" that will benefit not just Metro Manila but will spur economic growth in Central and Northern Luzon as well. The SCP has a capacity of 600,000 containers, but it moved only around 123,000 last year.

    A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency found that the port will ably and easily absorb northbound cargo. JICA said there is also cost advantage ranging from $100 to $200 per container for shippers from Pampanga and Zambales to ship through Subic instead of passing through Manila ports.

    The study showed a capacity shortage of 14 million containers for the Pacific Region, with Singapore already reaching its limit and Hong Kong remaining severely silted.

    For his part, former House speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said maximizing Subic port was "a great idea." Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, vice chairman of the House committee on appropriations, added that the proposal will translate to more economic activity in Subic and in neighboring areas. "This means more jobs and more opportunities.

    These can hopefully translate to social development in that part of the country," he said. "This plan, coupled with increased infrastructure spending particularly on interconnecting roads, alternative highways like C6 and bridges across the island of Luzon, will definitely solve a lot of urban management, environmental and economic issues.