MANILA, Philippines – Listed Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) is jointly expanding the ports of Manila and Batangas backed by its P4.2-billion capital investments over the next three years to boost the competitiveness of Philippine industries.
ATI vice president Sean Perez said the company is supporting the government’s bid to boost the competitiveness of industries by sustaining efficient gateway ports especially at this time of rapid economic growth.
“Manila is the center of the country’s consumer-driven economy and where majority of economic activities transpire. This is what the ports of Manila serve,” he said.
Aligned with this, Perez said that ATI is taking a balanced approach in its port development initiatives to ensure that Manila and its surrounding environs are adequately served by Manila South Harbor while at the same time opening up a viable option for industries based in southern Luzon via its modern Batangas Port.
Perez said that developments at Manila South Harbor are on schedule and are primarily anchored on expanding pier- and land-side infrastructure, improving current facilities and acquiring new equipment to sustain the port’s reliability, efficiency and high productivity.
Backed by P4.2 billion in capital investments over the next three years, ATI expects to meet its expansion targets for Manila’s gateway port as part of its contractual commitments with the state-run Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
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He added that Batangas Port container terminal would continue complementing Manila ports with a capacity of 300,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) to support the thriving industries of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).
According to ATI’s estimates, around 26 percent of manufacturers in the country are based in the high-growth area of Calabarzon, with some 700 businesses potentially generating 350,000 TEUs of containerized cargoes annually.
Such growth prospects have attracted inter-Asia shipping line MCC Transport and CNC Line of global transport giant CMA-CGM.
Current users of Batangas Port have also been increasing, satisfied with its advantages, most notably lower truck haulage costs, discounts and incentives from port authorities and fast transactions.
ATI also urged government to fast-track its road network expansion programs which would ease traffic in the metropolis.
“We are willing to support government in developing infrastructures that would improve road accessibility and interconnectivity for the ports. Alongside public and private sector initiatives, free market forces should remain as the main driver of trade, including the flow of cargoes in and out of the ports,” Perez stressed.
The ATI official also cautioned about the negative impact of suggestions from interest groups of putting a cap in Manila ports and mandating cargo diversion to Batangas and Subic.
“ATI remains committed to helping not just businesses and industries thrive, but also consumers, the other segments of the supply-chain and the economy as a whole,” he said.