Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Philippines' Subic seaport income up to record P276 M in 1st half

Henry Empeño
Business Mirror

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Aggressive promotions by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has yielded record earnings of more than P276.48 million for the Subic seaport during the first six months of 2009.

The six-month income, derived mostly from vessel and cargo charges, already exceeded Subic seaport’s total earnings of P276.24 million for the entire 12 months last year.

It also constituted the biggest six-month revenue record for the SBMA seaport department since the Subic free port was established in 1992, said SBMA senior deputy administrator for operations Ferdinand Hernandez.

“At the rate we’re going, our figure at the end of this year may even be double that of last year,” Hernandez added.

The surge in seaport income, Hernandez said, “is a result of the efforts by the SBMA to aggressively market the Subic port and to attract more shippers, importers, brokers and forwarders to Subic.”

The government’s huge investments in infrastructure, like the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and the North Luzon Expressway that both facilitated cargo traffic to Subic, as well as the $215-million Subic Port Development Project that established two new container terminals here, also helped Subic’s positioning.

“All together, these have greatly enhanced Subic’s performance as a logistics hub,” Hernandez added.

According to the SBMA Seaport Department, Subic’s seaport revenue steadily increased since 2005 and showed annual growth rates of 5.41 percent in 2006, 14.29 percent in 2007, and 26.63 percent in 2008.

In June this year Subic seaport income reached P60.69 million, the highest monthly revenue ever recorded in the last five years, according to the SBMA.

The Subic seaport also posted record-breaking monthly revenues since January when it collected P37.62 million. The rest of the first semester also showed record incomes of P41.57 million in February, P51.01 million in March, P44.49 million in April, and P41.07 million in May.

Comparative quarterly revenue figures from the SBMA indicated that cargo charges used to contribute the biggest earnings for the Subic seaport, with total collections of P104.33 million in 2007 and P109.29 million in 2008.

In the first six months of this year, however, vessel charges edged out cargo fees as the biggest revenue source—P112.11 million against P82.25 million—due to more ship calls, seaport officials added.

The seaport’s other income sources are leases and rentals, which brought in P30.84 million from January to June; processing fees, with P18.81 million in the same period; SBMA share from joint ventures, P27.57 million; and other charges, P4.93 million.

Hernandez also said the SBMA Seaport Department has pegged its revenue forecast for 2009 at P316.29 million, compared with the P228.2 million target in 2008.

“This means that our current first-half figure of more than P276 million is already 87.41 percent of our P316.3-million goal for this year,” Hernandez stressed.

SBMA seaport manager Perfecto Pascual said, meanwhile, that Subic seaport’s income began its consistent uptrend since the seaport department initiated its goal-setting program in 2006.

Pascual said the department achieved 94.75 percent of its P201.46-million target in 2006, 93.54 percent of the P233.21-million target in 2007, and the chart-busting record of 121.05 percent in 2008 when Subic posted an actual revenue of P276.24 million against a forecast of P228.2 million.

The target-setting program was complemented by aggressive marketing by the SBMA, said Hernandez, pointing out the agency’s recent road shows to attract more port users from Central and Northern Luzon.

He added other factors that contributed to this year’s record-breaking seaport income were the operation of Subic’s New Container Terminal 1 (NCT-1) by the Subic Bay International Terminal Corp., income from vessel lay-ups, as well as wharfage fee for petroleum products, fertilizer, and grains like soya and wheat.

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