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Monday, June 17, 2024

Gov’t endorses new blueprint for Subic Bay development

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The Department of Finance announced on Tuesday the official endorsement of the Subic Bay Regional Development Master Plan, which was finalized with the assistance of a survey mission team from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The plan will serve as a blueprint to maximize the economic development potential of Subic Bay and surrounding areas.

A joint effort to formulate a regional development master plan for Subic Bay began with the decision by the leaders of both countries in November 2019, with the memorandum of cooperation signed in Hakone, Japan in December 2019.

The finalized master plan was furnished by Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on April 7 in Manila.

Dominguez who met Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Hayashi Yoshimasa on April 25 welcomed the successful completion of the master plan.

“We deeply appreciate the Japanese government’s close coordination and expeditious fulfillment of the commitment to the Subic Bay development masterplan, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic during its preparation,” Dominguez said during the meeting.

The master plan envisages Subic Bay region’s economic future and concrete development proposals in both public and private sectors to unlock the full potential of Subic Bay, including the port capacity and the connectivity with hinterlands, with a view to helping continued efforts to decongest Metro Manila.

Hayashi expressed hope that the publication of the master plan proves to be conducive to the enhancement of regional connectivity and coast guard capabilities of the Philippines.

Japan rendered technical support to the formulation of the Subic Bay Regional Development Master Plan.

The master plan covers possible development projects in the fields of road network for Olongapo’s central business district and Subic Bay west coast, logistics terminals such as Alava Wharf and public utilities such as the Philippine Coast Guard’s new support facilities.

Japan remains tthe country’s top official development assistance partner, with a net loan commitment of about $10.02 billion and grant amount of $181.15 million, accounting for 31.84 percent of the country’s total ODA portfolio.

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