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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)

23 October 2016

Pres. Duterte names Escolango as OIC SBMA administrator

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed lawyer Randy B. Escolango as officer-in-charge administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

In a memorandum order dated Oct. 19, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said Escolango’s appointment was “in the exigency of service and to ensure uninterrupted delivery of public service.”

Atty. Randy B. Escolango

Escolango was the SBMA Deputy Administrator for Legal Affairs prior to his appointment as OIC Administrator.

Escolango replaced Roberto V. Garcia, chairman and administrator of SBMA for the last five years.

In a text message, Escolango said he was honored by the appointment and President Duterte’s confidence “and I will certainly do my best to live up to it.”

“In tandem with Chairman Martin Diño, we will build on what SBMA has accomplished under Chairman Bobby Garcia whose leadership has turned the agency in tiptop shape as records and statistics will show,” the newly-appointed administrator stressed.

A respected lawyer in Olongapo, Escolango holds a doctoral degree in public administration, a master’s degree in public management, a law degree from the Far Eastern University, and a bachelor’s degree from the New Era University.

Just recently, he successfully passed the Career Executive Service Written Exam (CSE-WE), a part of the CES eligibility examination process duly administered by the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) for appointment to a “third level” position in the government.

Jake Escalona, an SBMA locator, and residents of Olongapo welcomed the appointment of Escolango.

"Local businessmen and traders who are confused as to who is the designated administrator, have been somewhat appeased with the designation of an OIC Administrator," Escalona said.

"At long last, somebody from Olongapo has been tapped to lead the SBMA. Not to forget that he is a career official with CESO qualifications and who already knows the intricacies in running the agency,” Dennis Legaspi, an Olongapo resident pointed out.

“We assure Administrator Escolango of our full support as he leads the agency to new heights,” Marcus Gonzales, an SBMA employee said.

He is married to Michelle Cortez-Escolango and is blessed with four children. (Jelly F. Musico, PNA)

Gordon eyes Subic airport inclusion in restoration funding of E-Powers Act

SEN. Richard J. Gordon is proposing inclusion in the emergency powers bill of the funding needed to repair and upgrade the runway and terminal facilities of the Subic International Airport.

Gordon is also calling for the restoration of the full operations of vital equipment, like the radar and instrument landing system (ILS), so it can be used to decongest the four Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) terminals.

Per estimates derived from preliminary findings of the Senate blue-ribbon committee inquiry into the apparent failure by officials at Subic and Clark free ports to maximize what Gordon described as “prime facilities left at the former US bases,” the repairs and restoration at Subic airport will need anywhere from P600 million to P1 billion.

“We have to spend on it; otherwise, it will go to seed like Sangley,” he told the BusinessMirror, referring to the former US naval base in Cavite that was neglected for decades.

Gordon said the blue-ribbon committee was inquiring into the apparent neglect at Subic where he was the first chairman, after the US dismantled its bases when the Senate voted down the treaty extension of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement in September 1991. He thought it wiser to “fix the problem first” and then look “for who to pin the blame later.”

The immediate concern, Gordon said, is to restore what was once “one of the best airport facilities” in the world, noting the superior runway, the radar and related equipment when the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority harnessed the former US military site for civilian purposes.

He recalled that among the big-ticket investors that first located operations at Subic Airport was global logistics giant FedEx. (Butch Fernandez, Business Mirror)

Senator Richard Gordon, the first Chairman & Administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. (photo from facebook) 

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Chinese firm eager to invest in tourism ventures in Subic

A CHINESE firm is keen on investing in the Philippines, following the thawing of previously icy diplomatic ties between Manila and Beijing.

In a news statement, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Bai Fan, CFO of the Beijing Tourism Group Co. Ltd. (BTG), expressed the company’s intent to invest in the Subic Bay free-port zone.

“Subic has many beautiful types of scenery and has a lot of potential to the market, and it is also close to Manila. I think this is the best time to invest in the Philippines, since you have good relationship with China,” Fan said. The DOT did not say, however, in what area of the tourism industry BTG intends to sink in its money.

The new Chinese investment was revealed on the heels of an agreement signed between the DOT and the China National Tourism Administration of Beijing to implement a tourism cooperation program from 2017 to 2022. The agreement includes, among others, a framework to encourage investments in tourism infrastructure, and a scheme to increase tourism traffic in both countries.

BTG is a holding firm based in Beijing that operates hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and other tourism-related enterprises, as well as catering, entertainment, department stores and shopping malls, through several subsidiaries.

According to its web site, the company was founded in 1998 and, since then, has grown to be one of China’s top 10 tourism companies, and ranks among the country’s top 500 firms. A budget hotel subsidiary, the Home Inns Group, is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.

BTG was among the Chinese companies that met with Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo on Thursday. The DOT chief was part of the official delegation of President Duterte on his first state visit to China. In their meeting, Teo highlighted investment opportunities in the Philippines’s fast-growing tourism sector, especially in the hotel sector. She said the Philippines would also welcome Chinese investments in infrastructure and aviation.

Teo pointed out that the Philippines will need over 100,000 rooms, especially in the four- and five-star categories, as the DOT targets to increase tourist arrivals to 12 million by the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022.

“We encourage you to invest in the Philippines now, as our country and China strengthen our bilateral trade and business relations,” she said, adding that the Philippines “enjoys the highest growth rate in international arrivals in Southeast Asia.”

In the same meeting, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza) Chief Operating Officer lawyer Guiller Asido discussed fiscal incentives available to tourism zone investors.

“We are offering a tax holiday for six years to investors, as well as tax exemption on equipment that you will bring in,” he said. Formerly known as the Philippine Tourism Authority, Tieza is a unit of the DOT tasked to “develop, manage and supervise tourism-infrastructure projects in the country,” as well as set up tourism economic zones.

The DOT secretary also encouraged the Chinese investors to consider other destinations in the Philippines, such as Samal Island in Davao; Bataan; Bohol; and Siargao in Surigao del Norte.

The Asean is composed of Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The regional group has a free-trade agreement with China, which was signed in November 2002. (Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo, BusinessMirror)

In Photo:
Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo (center) with members of the Philippine delegation, which includes Tourism Assistant Secretary Rolando Canizal (first from left, standing), and TIEZA’s Guiller Asido (right, seated), with key Chinese investors. (BusinessMirror)

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21 October 2016

China’s Jovo to start ship-to-ship cargo handling in Subic

China’s leading clean energy service provider Jovo Group Company Ltd. Guangdong (Jovo) on Wednesday said it is ready to engage in ship-to-ship operations in Subic Bay.

The ship-to-ship (STS) transfer operations will involve oil tankers carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Asia Pacific that will be transferred to smaller vessels bound to ports in China. STS addresses the shipping of petroleum products to China as most of its ports cannot accommodate bulk carriers because of depth issues.

A petroleum carrier that transports LNG through ship-to-ship (STS) transfer

In a public consultation, Jovo International Business general manager Yuan Lu said the LNG will be brought to Subic Bay from Australia and Indonesia by Belgium-flag carrier, a 94,000-ton bulk carrier. The cargo will then be transferred while at sea to a smaller 47,000-tonnage capacity ship bound for China.

Lu said that the STS operations of Jovo in Subic will be assessed after five years, results of which will determine if a regional hub should be established here to accommodate delivery of LNG to the local market and the rest of Southeast Asia.

He said Jovo’s long-term plan is to introduce the LNG to local markets in the Philippines, especially those in the transportation sector as this kind of fuel is safe and environmentally friendly.

Lu said that company Jovo has decades of comprehensive experience in clean energy shipping, storage, processing and sales with zero accidents, and assured that LNG and the STS operation will be environmentally safe.

The consultation was attended by local fishermen, members of the Philippine Coast Guard, PNP Maritime Group and workers of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) held at the SBMA Seaport Admin Building.

Fishermen belonging to Subic Bay Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (SBFARMC) said they are grateful to SBMA and Jovo for the holding of the consultations prior to the start of the STS operation in Subic.

“We are thankful for the invitation of SBMA headed by its new chairman Martin Diño and Jovo for this consultation for them to hear our concerns and enlighten us on this ship-to-ship operation that might affect our livelihood,” said SBFARMC chair Laureano Artagame.

Artagame noted that large ships oftentimes occupy the fishing areas of small fishermen in Subic Bay, but with the consultation, accidental “intrusion” can now be avoided.

Meanwhile, China Classification Society (CCS) senior engineer Fan Hong Jun, in his presentation, compared highly combustible gasoline or liquefied petroleum gas against LNG which has lesser greenhouse effect and is lighter than air, making it safer in case of spillage.

With a property temperature of -162 ̊C, LNG is hard to burn but evaporates rapidly, Fan explained, adding that if it spills into our oceans or even into our water source, it will not affect marine life, and our water remains safe to drink.

“It burns slowly, and does not mix with water nor kill fish or any other marine life. LNG is very environmental friendly,” he said.

In terms of revenue, Fan said the Port of Subic will earn tens of millions of pesos from services, including tug boat services, port services and anchorage. This does not include indirect revenue from payments for tugboats, chandlers, bunkering and food supplies. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

19 October 2016

SBMA big winner in this year's Asia CEO awards

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) bagged the Leadership Team of the Year award at the 2016 Asia CEO awards Tuesday night, beating out some of the best companies in the country vying for the title.

This, as the panel of judges recognized the record highs the agency hit, in terms of revenues, profits, investments secured, and jobs generated.

SBMA Administrator Roberto Garcia accepts the award for Executive Team Leadership of the Year
(Screen grab from CNN Philippines)

The Executive Leadership Team of the Year award is given to honor an executive management team of any organization that exhibited exceptional leadership skills resulting in the maximization of stakeholders’ values and has attained significant business accomplishments.

SBMA ruled in what seemed to be a fiercely-contested category, beating out companies like Australia-based Acquire BPO, aircon-maker Concepcion Industrial Corp., Ayala-run Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (IMI), and logistics provider LBC Express.

The same award was presented to Clark Development Corporation during the 2015 Asia CEO Awards, and to SM Prime Holdings in 2014.

The SBMA, which manages the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, also recently received recognition for its record-setting financial performance in the last four years under Garcia's term.

Last year the Subic Bay Freeport garnered two major citations in the Global Free Zones of the Year 2015 Awards: overall winner in Asia, and overall winner in the sub-region of South and Southeast Asia.

The Subic Freeport also received commendations in the form of bespoke awards for infrastructure developments and reinvestment. (SNL)

Subic Bay, GSIS beat out private firms for top business awards

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The government was the big winner in the Asia CEO Awards, as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) bagged some of the top prizes on Tuesday night.

SBMA was awarded the Leadership Team of the Year, with the panel of judges recognizing the record highs the agency hit, in terms of revenues, profits, investments secured, and jobs generated.

It was a fiercely-contested category, but SBMA beat out companies like Australia-based Acquire BPO, aircon-maker Concepcion Industrial Corp., Ayala-run Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (IMI), and logistics provider LBC Express.

"This award shows that government agencies can deliver a world-class level of service that can compete among the best companies in the Philippines," SBMA Administrator Roberto Garcia said during his acceptance speech.

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18 October 2016

eBPS phase 2: Subic activates online payment for port transactions

Stakeholders in Subic can now pay their port dues online through Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority's (SBMA) Electronic Billing and Payment System (eBPS).

eBPS, carried out in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), allows Subic Bay Freeport locators, residents, and seaport users to access, view, and print their online billing statements.

The first phase of eBPS was launched last year to facilitate delivery of monthly statement of accounts (SOA) to locators and residents in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, and remittance of payment, through LBP's electronic banking services.

The deployment of the e-BPS Phase 2 includes other payment transactions, including seaport charges and US-dollar denominated SBMA fees, and the remittance of payment through other BancNet member banks.

Payments can be made online via an automatic debit arrangement using the person's LBP account or ATM card for a minimum service charge of P25 per transaction for peso-denominated billings and US$0.75 per transaction for dollar-denominated billings.

SBMA, in an advisory to locators and residents, said the project is part of its continuing efforts to improve its services.

To avail of the service, the user should go SBMA's website ( Click on the SBMA-eBPS logo, and complete the online registration process. (Liza Almonte, PortCalls)

e-BPS login page in SBMA's official website (click on image to go to the page).

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Meralco names builder of Subic plant

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy) consortium has signed a construction contract with Azul Torre Construction Inc. and a supply contract with Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd. for the construction of the 600 megawatts (MW) coal-fired power plant it is developing in Subic.

RP Energy which is currently composed of Therma Power, Inc., a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogeneration International Corp. each owns 25 percent equity interest while Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), a subsidiary of Meralco holds 47 percent equity interest in the plant projected to go online by mid-2020.

Construction of the Subic coal plant estimated to cost $1.2 billion was halted when a Writ of Kalikasan was filed against it in 2012 but which was later junked by the Supreme Court (SC) for insufficiency of evidence.

Meralco also recently filed a power supply agreement application with the Energy Regulatory Commission to draw 225 MW from RP Energy once it is completed but is still pending for a decision.

Aside from RP Energy, other coal plant developments where MGen is involved in include the 455 MW San Buenaventura project and the 1,200 MW Atimonan both located in the Quezon province. (Malaya Business Insight)

Artist's rendition of the power plant located at the REdondo Peninsula. RP Energy is building a $1.2Bn 600MW power plant within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) using circulating-fluidized-bed technology.

16 October 2016

Network vs illicit trade launched in Subic Freeport

Representatives of various community sectors here formed on Thursday a grassroots network of volunteers to help fight illegal business activities in support of the Duterte administration’s drive against smuggling and counterfeit goods.

The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) organized the network as a public-private partnership under the Fight Illicit Trade (Fight IT) Movement, which it had earlier established along its anti-illicit trade advocacy.

FPI Chairman Jesus Arranza, who is also Fight IT lead convener, said the movement brings together volunteers from local government units, law-enforcement agencies, business chambers, educational institutions, civic organizations and other community groups to commit in the campaign against illicit trade.

“Through the Fight IT Warriors network, the movement will be able to provide reliable intelligence to law-enforcement groups that will help them in tackling the illicit-trade problem,” Arranza said.

A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) commissioned by European Chamber of Commerce said Southeast Asian countries are at the bottom of the pack when it comes to the fight against illicit trade. Worse still, the problem could grow, the EIU added.

Arranza said the Subic Bay Freeport was chosen for the launch of the movement because of its “strong sense of volunteerism and civic spirit supporting the administration in its programs, especially in the enforcement of laws and regulations.”

Subic’s strategic location as a regional transshipment hub, with an active port that handles tons of shipments daily, also makes it an ideal site for the kickoff, he added.

Around 300 volunteers were sworn in as the movement’s Fight IT Warriors during the movement’s launching at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center on Thursday.

Accordingly, the “warriors” pledged to report sightings of fake or smuggled goods, as well as suspected illicit-trade practices in their communities to help authorities apprehend and prosecute illegal traders.

The volunteers were also tasked to join and actively participate in initiatives fostering illicit-trade awareness and enforcement issues, trainings on counterfeit spotting and identification, and workshops to enforce actions against trademark violators.

Most important of all, network members pledged to promote the purchase of genuine products to show full support to the movement’s advocacy.

Meanwhile, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Martin Diño, who welcomed participants to the launch, expressed his full support to the movement.

“The entire Subic community joins our administration’s relentless campaign against criminality and corruption. And among the steps we are about to take is to flag the presence of illegal activities and raise the problem of illicit trade to the fore,” Diño said.

In the same occasion, The Fight IT Movement unveiled its full-feature web site, which features a reporting mechanism for warriors as well as the general public. The site ensures the confidentiality of the sources’ identity, movement leaders said.

The public can also report sightings of illicit products in local areas through the web site and its local hotline 722-3409. (Henry Empeño, BusinessMirror)

“Fight IT Warriors” from the Lyceum of Subic signify their commitment to help combat illegal trade during the launch of the Fight Illicit Trade (Fight IT) Movement at the Subic Bay Freeport on Thursday. (HEE, BusinessMirror)

New SBMA chair to prioritize workers’ welfare

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will prioritize the provision of benefits and incentives to SBMA workers who served as volunteers after the US Naval Base here closed down in 1992.

SBMA Chairman Martin Diño said during a media conference here that volunteers who are holding contractual positions in the agency shall be given priority in housing and retirement benefits and other incentives.

“When I first arrived in the SBMA, I first asked about the conditions of the volunteers and I promised them that I will see how SBMA could repay them for what they did for the agency,” he said.

He added that his administration will help those hired under contracts of service to look for permanent jobs in line with the President Duterte’s program to eliminate end-of-contract scheme, commonly known as “endo,” which limits workers’ contracts to a maximum of six months to avoid permanent hiring.

The chairman explained that his administration will conduct a study “to definitely end contractualization in accordance with COA (Commission on Audit) rules and regulations.”

The SBMA is still employing about 1,200 workers under contract of service (CS), mostly former volunteers who serve in ground maintenance and housekeeping operations, as well as other office positions.

Diño also said that the SBMA reorganization proposal submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall be reviewed to make it more beneficial and responsive to the needs and direction of the agency.

“The proposed reorganization in the structure of the agency to cope with the present and realistic conditions in the Freeport, which is continuously growing in terms of investments, will be reviewed to make it fit and responsive to the direction the agency wishes to take,” Diño said.

He added that the new administration will implement the removal of any overlapping functions of offices, improve the healthcare program and benefits of all SBMA employees, and require all departments to improve their performance and output.

“SBMA employees should be the first to benefit from what their agency has been achieving, which made the Subic Bay Freeport the Number 1 tourism destination in the region and a contributor of billions of pesos to the national government,” Diño also said. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


The Volunteers' shrine in Subic Bay Freeport where the names of 8,000 volunteers who protected and preserved military facilities left by the Americans after the 1992 base pullout had been etched in stone. (photo from

13 October 2016

SBMA Chairman Diño, other gov't appointees take their oath before Duterte

President Duterte swore into office Tuesday (Oct. 11) more than a hundred government appointees led by party mate Martin Diño as chair of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and lawyer Amado Valdez as chair of the Social Security System.

Also sworn into office were Special Envoy of the President to the Middle East Roy Cimatu, Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe Lhuillier, Philippine Ambassador to Kenya Norman Garibay, Philippine Ambassador to Nigeria Shirley Ho-Vicario, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V and Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Alan Timbayan.

Other new appointees were Agriculture undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Public and Works Highways undersecretary for legal affairs Karen Jimeno.

Several undersecretaries and assistant secretaries from the budget, education, foreign affairs, information and communication technology, interior and local government, defense, energy, finance, health, justice labor, science and technology trade, social welfare, tourism and transportation departments also took their oath before the President.

Duterte also administered the oath taking of the new officers of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, a handful of judges and state prosecutors.

PHOTO: SBMA Chairman Martin Diño, along with other newly-appointed officials, at the mass oath-taking ceremony led by President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang. (screen grab from RTVM)


12 October 2016

Chinese firm to build Clark-Subic bullet train as PPP

The Philippines may soon join the ranks of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan among the Asian countries with a high-speed rail system or bullet train.

On the sidelines of an inquiry by the House transportation committee, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Martin Diño revealed the country's first-ever "bullet train" would be built between Subic in Zambales and Clark in Pampanga.

Diño said the bullet train project will be carried out through a public-private partnership with a Chinese company. He did not name the firm.

Diño said discussions on the railway project would be part of President Rodrigo Duterte's state visit to China on October 18 to 21.

The Clark-Subic bullet train is among the topics President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss with the Chinese when he visits China next week, according to the SBMA official.

"It is our first bullet train. Hopefully, magawa agad," he told reporters.

High-speed trains usually operate at speeds of around 200 km per hour, while Japan's famous bullet trains or shinkansen can run at maximum speeds of more than 300 km/h.

In comparison, trains of the Metro Rail Transit, Light Rail Transit, and Philippine National Railways run at average speeds of 40 km/h. — VDS, Mark Merueñas, GMA News

11 October 2016

SBMA chief supports call to use Subic Port

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority said Monday it supports the recommendation of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to utilize the port in Central Luzon.

SBMA chairman Martin Diño said in a statement the proposed plan was highly beneficial to the country’s economy because it would increase business activities in the northern regions of Luzon.

“Efficient trading boosts business growth and where there are thriving businesses; there are job opportunities,” Diño said.

He cited that over 30 million Filipinos would benefit from the proposed utilization plan, providing jobs to several regions in the country.

He said Central Luzon was among the fastest growing regions in the country where infrastructure projects were put in place and where investors were flocking in.

“The roads leading to and from Central Luzon is in place, labor costs are attractive, utility prices are lower than other cities; it is a good place to do business,” he said.

Diño cited an efficient port waiting in Subic Bay that could cater to businesses at the shortest turnaround time possible.

“The port in Subic can hold 600,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) but it can also handle TEUs (forty-foot equivalent units),” he said.

“Imagine, in just four hours your goods are already en route to their destination,” Diño added.

The SBMA chairman said doing business in Subic was like transacting in Manila because the travel time would be cut short and roads leading to destinations were more favorable for truckers.

“You have the NLEx (North Luzon Expressway), SCTEx (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) and well paved diversion roads that assure on-time delivery of goods and services. And for businesses, time is a very important resource for investors,” Diño said.

He said the SBMA was waiting for the approvals of the proposed infrastructure projects pitched by the agency to the National Economic and Development Authority to fully harness the potential of the region. (Manila Standard Business)

The Subic Bay Freeport Zone and (inset) SBMA Chairman Martin B. Diño (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

08 October 2016

Diño sets to expand Subic, widen Freeport trade

Newly-appointed chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Martin Diño is eyeing to strengthen and widen trade in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in order to generate more investment and livelihood opportunities in the Subic Bay area.

Diño, who took over the helm of the Subic agency last Monday, said the SBMA under his administration will seek to maximize the use of the Subic port and develop more business districts for investors.

“We need to maximize the use of the Subic port, especially the container terminal here, to bring in more business and, at the same time, help solve the traffic congestion in Manila ports,” the new chairman said during a media briefing following the turnover ceremony last Monday.

“At the same time, we should find ways to accommodate more investments because the available area for further development in Subic is now very much limited,” he added.

Diño noted that the capacity of the New Container Terminal 1 and 2 in the Subic Bay Freeport “is more than enough to handle all the containers originating from and bound for Central and Northern Luzon.”

However, he said there is a need to develop a bigger logistics area that would cater to the needs of the growing number of port users.

“This is why we need to explore the transfer of the Bataan Technology Park, Inc. to the management of the SBMA,” Diño said. “We can spur the development of the entire area of BTPI into a central business district for shippers, logistics, and other related industries, as the Subic Bay Freeport is already running out of developable lands.”

The 380-hectare BTPI is located in Barangay Sabang, Morong, Bataan, about 30 minutes away from the Subic Bay Freeport’s central business district. Once a UN High Commission’s Refugee Processing Center, the BTPI is ideal for light and customized manufacturing industries.

Under Proclamation No. 532, which delineates the metes and bounds of the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone, Subic has a total land and water area of 67,452 hectares more or less. Out of this, the fenced area where much development has taken place is approximately 14,000 hectares, including portion of the Redondo Peninsula.

However, out of the fenced area, only about 2,800 hectares or about 20% is developable, while the remaining 11,200 hectares or about 80% of the total land and water area are high slopes, forests, and protected areas.

To address the problem of land scarcity in Subic, Diño said the SBMA must maximize the use of all available facilities and pursue an expansion program.

He added that his office will initiate multi-lateral dialogues with the City of Olongapo, the municipalities of Morong and Hermosa in Bataan, and the town of San Antonio in Zambales to identify areas for possible development. (NBM/MPD-SBMA)

Chairman Diño gestures with a "Duterte fist" upon assuming the SBMA post on Monday. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

06 October 2016

More US warships in Subic Bay for PHIBLEX 33

More US warships arrived in Subic Bay Wednesday to take part in this year's Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise, also known as PHIBLEX 33.

Additional U.S. units that docked in the Freeport are three ships of Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (BHR ARG).

BHR ARG consists of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD-20), and the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD-42).

PHIBLEX 33 opened Monday in ceremonies held at the headquarters of the Philippine Marine Corps in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

According to Cpt Ryan F Lacuesta, PN (M), Director, Marine Corps Public Affairs Office Public Affairs Office, the exercise will have different events that will enhance the interoperability and capability of the naval forces of both countries.

Some of the exercise activities are as follows:

- Amphibious Landing Exercise on October 7, 2016 at the Naval Education Training Command in San Antonio Zambales.

- Combined Live Fire exercise (CALFEX) on October 10, 2016 at the Crow Valley in Tarlac.

- Turn-over ceremony of Engineering project at the Palawig Elementary School and San Vicente Elem School on October 11, 2016 at Sta Ana, Cagayan, and,

- Closing Ceremony PHIBLEX33 on October 12, 2016 at the Acero Hall, Headquarters Philippine Marine Corps, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

PHIBLEX 33 includes approximately 1,400 U.S. service members based in Okinawa, Japan and 500 Philippine Armed Forces personnel working side-by- side to grow capabilities and better prepare to operate together during a natural disaster or armed conflict. (SNL)


[1] Sea Knight transport and Sea Stallion attack helicopters sit on the deck of the assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, which will participate in the ongoing Phiblex war games between the Philippines and the United States. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[2] The dock landing ship USS Germantown (right) and the assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard occupy the length of the Alava Pier in the Subic Bay Freeport on Wednesday. The ships, along with USS Green Bay, are in port for replenishment before participating in the ongoing war maneuver between the Philippines and the United States. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

03 October 2016

Chairman Diño assumes SBMA office

Newly appointed chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Martin Diño formally took over the rein of the Subic agency on Monday in a turn-over ceremony held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center here.

In his first public appearance before employees of SBMA, Diño accepted the official SBMA flag from outgoing Chairman Roberto Garcia and pledged to make Subic the best free port in Asia.

Diño was joined in the turnover by his transition team, members from the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), and son Marvin Diño, who will serve as his chief of staff.

In his acceptance speech, Diño lauded the accomplishments of officials and employees of the SBMA headed by Garcia, noting that they successfully implemented a financial turnaround for the agency.

Diño said that he envisioned a healthier financial status for the SBMA, and that he would strive to make Subic more business-friendly.

“I will work hard to make the best of it,” he added.

“Our sole objective is to make Subic the best free port in Asia,” Diño also said. “Chairman Garcia has already paved the way for Subic towards becoming the number one free port in Asia; it’s our turn to make that happen,” he added.

The former barangay chairman and head of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) also pointed out that while he has no degree in business or recognition from financial institutions, he has a direct line to the President and that he intends to use this to further develop Subic.

He said that when he was offered the position of SBMA chairman, President Duterte asked him to make Subic more attractive to investments, and to make the free port more developed.

Diño also mentioned that the President plans to transfer to Subic half of the transshipment activities in the South and North Harbors in Manila, to help decongest the port and streets of Metro Manila and to maximize Subic’s port capacity.

He also expressed concern for the former Subic volunteers whom he described as the first heroes of SBMA, adding that he will look into how the agency could repay their sacrifices.

Meanwhile, outgoing chairman Garcia highlighted in his turn-over speech his administration’s accomplishments that made Subic the most progressive free port in the country, as well as the Number 1 tourist destination in Central Luzon and Number 4 nationwide.

Garcia also noted that under his administration, the revenue collection of SBMA jumped from P1.39 billion in 2011 to P2.75 billion in 2015, while its total available cash increased from P595 million in 2011 to P2.75 billion 2015.

“These accomplishments had made SBMA the 11th among government-owned and -controlled corporations in terms of dividends remitted to the national government last year,” he said. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

Outgoing SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia (left) turns over the agency’s flag to newly-appointed Chairman Martin V. Diño in a formal ceremony on Monday at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)