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Subic wants Japanese aid to build another shipbuilding site

Manila: Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Feliciano G. Salonga intends to build a shipyard in the Freeport zone to build vessels for domestic routes and is eyeing the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for funding.
In a recent briefing, Mr. Salonga said he deemed it necessary "to intervene" in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's program developing the Strong Republic Nautical Highway Roll On-Roll Off system.
He said 2,500 new ships and replacements for old vessels are now in demand for interisland domestic routes. "[These are] small vessels because the routes are short and they trade between islands. So, they vary from a capacity of 5,000-10,000 gross tons. This means they can carry anywhere from five to seven trucks carrying rice and other commodities," Mr. Salonga said.
He said the SBMA is in the process of completing a project proposal for a domestic shipyard within the Freeport zone.
"If we can make this materialize within the next couple of months, we"ll have a new shipyard in SBMA that will address the domestic requirements," he said.
Mr. Salonga said their proposal to the Development Bank of the Philippines to fund the project did not work out because the bank's rates were "too high." [30/07/07]


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