The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has recorded more than PHP997 million in seaport income in the first nine months of this year as containerized cargo trade in this free port continued to grow with the gradual reopening of the global economy.
SBMA chairperson and administrator Wilma T. Eisma said on Tuesday the SBMA Seaport Department recorded a 15-percent increase in revenues from January to September 2021, which is higher compared to the PHP863.7-million earnings posted in the same period last year.
“The increase in container traffic definitely carried the day for Subic because it also helped us realize increases in processing fees, SBMA shares from the operation of the container terminal, as well as leases,” Eisma said in a statement.
“The positive figures in these revenue sources had offset decreases in other areas like non-containerized cargo, which has markedly fallen since the Covid-19 pandemic,” she added.
Eisma said the SBMA further expects container traffic and Subic port revenue to grow this year, as third quarter figures placed container cargo volume at 69,355 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) compared to 62,103 in the second quarter.
“The 12-percent increase in containerized cargo volume corresponded to an 11-percent increase in our port revenue, which grew from PHP317.2 million in the second quarter to PHP351.9 million in the third quarter. And so far, this upward trend continues,” she added.
Based on the report from the SBMA Operations Group, the biggest income earner for the Subic seaport was the agency’s share from container terminal operations, which yielded PHP302.3 million from January to September this year.
The container terminal operation was buoyed by a 32-percent increase in exports, from 24,951 TEUs in January-September 2020 to 32,891 TEUs this year, and a 16 percent rise in imports that grew from 77,663 TEUs last year to 90,019 TEUs this year.
The next biggest income sources for the SBMA seaport are lease rentals, which brought in PHP252 million, cargo charges with PHP248.1 million, and vessel charges with PHP126.1 million.
SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Operations Ronnie Yambao said the SBMA shares registered a 46 percent growth over the January-September 2020 record because of increased cargo handling fees, hauling and variable fees, even as a slight dip of 0.4 percent was noted in foreign container vessel ship calls in the same period.
Processing fees, cargo charges and lease rentals, meanwhile, showed respective increases of 11 percent, 3 percent and 11 percent, Yambao added.
He also pointed out that while total non-containerized cargo volume decreased by 10 percent in the same period, or from 5.39 million metric tons (MTs) in the first three quarters of 2020 to 4.86 million MTs in the same period this year, the liquid bulk petroleum sector defied the downtrend with an 18-percent increase, or from 1.84-million MTs to 2.17-million MTs this year.
Meanwhile, the SBMA Trade Facilitation and Compliance Department (TFCD), which handles import and export transactions in the Subic Bay Freeport, reported that its revenue grew from PHP83.66 million in the first three quarters of 2020 to PHP104.22 million in 2021.
TFCD manager Anna Joy Quito attributed the 25-percent increase to the rise in import-export fees and admission fees brought about by the gradual reopening of the economy.
TFCD records showed a 67-percent increase in Subic export transactions, from $630 million in 2020 to $1.05 billion in 2021, and a 52-percent rise in importations, from $815.9 million in 2020 to $1.24 billion in 2021.