Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, February 05, 2009


The recent rise in numbers of international and local shipping vessels particularly cargo ships and oil tankers along the Subic Bay area have caught the public’s attention.

These ships have been anchoring in Subic Bay for their lay-up or simply parking their vessels to reduce their operation cost since ship movements have been limited due to less demands worldwide brought about by the global recession.

According to Edgardo T. De Leon, OIC, Port Traffic and Communications Branch of the SBMA Seaport Department, the lay-up activity started as early as November last year with ship agents Ben Line and BOW Marine Services, Inc. deploying the most number of ships.

“Such activity has become a boost to local tourism and businesses but we must not compromise our environment,” Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. said in reaction to the ships’ presence.

The City Government is vigilant regarding environmental concerns such as the sewage disposal and the proximity of these vessels to hotels and resorts along the beaches.

The City Council through Councilor Jong Cortez, Committee Chair on City Environmental Protection, recently passed a resolution requesting the SBMA to consider alternative anchorage points for visiting shipping vessels doing lay-up in Subic Bay.

The resolution states that, “the City Government of Olongapo also requests the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), through the Seaport Department to reconsider the proposed 30 anchor points by striking a balance between maintaining the panoramic, pristine view of Subic Bay for tourists and keeping the strategic, competitive edge of Subic as a transshipment hub and port.”

SBMA by virtue of Republic Act 7227, thru the Seaport Department has the jurisdiction and authority to administer and oversee the Port of Subic and regulate incoming and outgoing shipping vessels in the area.

Subic Bay is also considered a strategic location because of its deep waters and proximity to international shipping lanes and ports.

Ships anchored at Subic Bay are being closely monitored to prevent potential damage on the environment by, among others, the ships’ sewage disposal which may have adverse effects in Olongapo’s tourism industry if left unchecked.

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