• Speaker backs call for use, modernization of Subic port

    Alvarez, also secretary general of the now ruling party PDPLaban, said upgrading Subic port and maximizing its use would help in improving the flow of goods and ease road bottlenecks that have led to productivity losses of at least P2.4 million per day.

    Alvarez said expanding the cargo volume being handled by the Subic port is a "good idea" that will benefit not just Metro Manila but also spur economic growth in Central and Northern Luzon. SCP has a capacity of 600,000 containers, but as of last year, the volume it received was only around 123,000. This means the port can easily absorb northbound cargo, as shown by a study made by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

    The push for Subic as a major cargo port is also being supported by other ranking House members, including Rep. Feliciano Belmonte, former speaker. Another congressman, Rep. Alfred Vargas, vice chair of the House appropriations committee, said using Subic as a major cargo port would translate into more economic activities not only in Zambales province but other areas in Luzon. "This means more jobs and more opportunities," said Vargas. "This plan, coupled with increased infrastructure spending particularly on interconnecting roads, alternative highways and bridges across Luzon will definitely solve a lot of urban management, environmental and economic issues," Vargas added.

    SCP is a key component of the SubicClark Alliance for Development strategy, which includes the construction of the SubicClarkTarlac Expressway, and the Clark International Airport to form a global logistics hub and international gateway for Central Luzon.

    Experts noted that existing road networks leading to and from Manila North Harbor can no longer accommodate a high volume of cargo. Two other congressmen had pushed for Subic as a major port—Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III and Rep. Ben Evardone.