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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)

30 September 2016

SBMA fights Zika, dengue with mosquitofish - BFAR

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority recently asked for 10,000 fingerlings of mosquitofish from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAD) to get rid of mosquitoes that may carry dengue and the Zika virus.

The SBMA will use mosquitofish to eliminate disease-carrying mosquitoes, said Westly Rosario, chief of BFAR National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center in a report from the Philippine Star.

"It is important to give them because some shipping containers may have transported mosquitoes that carry diseases," Rosario said.

Rosario said mosquitofish, locally known as itar or kataba, was earlier used to fight malaria in the country.

The fish eat mosquito larvae.

“We just bring back the importance of this species to address the spread of diseases like dengue or Zika virus,” he said.

Rosario said mosquitofish also has high protein level that is used as food for seabass fingerlings.

He said mosquitofish can survive in low oxygen and has a survival rate of 100 percent.

Mosquitofish is also being bred and distributed in Central America by Virginia-based non-profit Operation Blessing hoping to halt the spread of the Zika virus.

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing, said the fish provide a uniquely effective option for combating diseases known to be carried by the mosquitoes.

The fish eat mosquitoes' larva before the insects mature and carry the disease which has been linked to an epidemic of birth defects in Brazil and spread throughout Latin America. (SNL)

Female (top) and male (below) mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). The name "mosquitofish" was given because the diet of this fish sometimes consists of large numbers of mosquito larvae, relative to body size. (


29 September 2016

#PAGYANIG SA SUBIC: SBMA joins nationwide earthquake drill

Emergency responders of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) attend to injured “victims” during a simulated earthquake exercise held at the SBMA Seaport Building in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Wednesday.

Organized by the Subic Bay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (SDRRMC) in collaboration with the Office of the Civil Defense Region III, the earthquake drills were held simultaneously in various offices and establishments in Subic Bay Freeport.

The drills were part of the the 3rd quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) dubbed "#Pagyanig 2016" of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) which aims to heighten disaster response and management capabilities of government agencies and local government units. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

28 September 2016

SBMA chosen as finalist in 2016 Asia CEO Awards

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has made it to the list of finalists in this year’s upcoming Asia CEO Awards, the largest business awards event in Philippines and one of the biggest of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.

According to a list published in the Asia CEO Awards website, the SBMA is one of the six finalists for the Executive Leadership Team of the Year award, and the only government entity vying for the title in this category.

The other finalists are contact center and performance marketer Acquire BPO; top BPO firm Cognizant Technology Solutions Philippines, Inc.; appliance maker Concepcion Industrial Corporation; electronics manufacturer Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc.; and cargo logistics giant LBC Express, Inc.

The Asia CEO Awards, which is presented by PLDT Alpha Enterprise, recognize extraordinary leaders who have demonstrated outstanding achievement for their organizations and contributions to others.

Its purpose is to promote the ASEAN region as a premier business destination and is considered a must-attend occasion for business leaders active in the region.

The annual awards presentation was established as a natural outgrowth of Asia CEO Forum, the largest regular networking event for the business community in Philippines.

Among the awards presented are: Global Top Employer of the Year, Global Filipino Executive of the Year, Expatriate Executive of the Year, Service Excellence Company of the Year, Young Leader of the Year, Green Company of the Year, CSR Company of the Year, SME Company of the Year, Heart for OFWs Company of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Technology Company of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year, and ASEAN Company of the Year.

The Executive Leadership Team of the Year award, for which the SBMA has been nominated, 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.

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

This year, the Asia CEO Awards Night will be held on October 18, at the grand ballroom of Marriott Hotel Manila, the largest in the nation. It is expected to be attended by more than 1,200 of the most senior executive managers active in Philippines and across the Asia Pacific region.

The SBMA, which manages the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, has lately received recognition for its record-setting financial performance in the last four years under SBMA chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia.

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. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)

26 September 2016

More US ships dock in Subic Bay as Phl, US troops prepare for PHIBLEX 33

Three more US Navy ships are now docked in Subic Bay Freeport for a routine port call.

Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3) and two other US support ships, the USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62) and USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11) arrived at the port of Subic Monday morning (Sept. 26) for supply replenishment.

USNS Bowditch is an oceanographic survey vessel which is part of the Special Mission Ship program operating in South China Sea, while the USNS Washington Chambers is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship. The three ships joined another US vessel, USS Frank Cable (AS-40), which arrived in this free port on Sept. 10.

These US ships are now in Subic Bay as Philippine and American troops prepare for the upcoming PHIBLEX exercises set on October 4 to 12 in multiple locations in Luzon and Palawan.

In a statement release by the US Embassy in Manila, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine Marine Corps have invited U.S. Marines and Sailors from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group to participate in PHIBLEX 2016 which is the 33rd iteration of the Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX 33).

Humanitarian civic assistance efforts, an amphibious landing exercise and live- fire training featuring artillery are just a few of the many team building opportunities during PHIBLEX 33, all designed to advance cooperation, improve interoperability and assist in strengthening bilateral amphibious capabilities.

PHIBLEX 33 will include 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.

The humanitarian and civic assistance portion of the exercise, beginning in September and concluding 12 October, includes engineering projects to improve local infrastructure and health engagements to exchange medical best practices and supplement the medical needs of Philippine citizens. Field training during the exercise includes small arms and artillery live-fire which will provide the and U.S. Marine units multiple opportunities to maintain and sharpen their skills while enhancing an already high level of interoperability.

Additional U.S. units participating include Amphibious Squadron 11, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the three ships of Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (BHR ARG). The ARG consists of the USS BHR (LHD-6), the USS Green Bay (LPD-20), and the USS Germantown (LSD-48). Philippine units include the 3d Marine Brigade and the Philippine Navy’s new Strategic Sealift Vessel, the BRP Tarlac. (MPD-SBMA)

The USS Frank Cable (AS-40), a submarine tender ship, gives a water salute to the passing USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3), a Spearhead class expeditionary fast transport ship as the latter prepare to dock for a routine port stop at the Alava Pier in Subic Bay Freeport zone in Zambales Monday (Sept. 26). Two other US support ships, the USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62), an oceanographic survey vessel which is part of the Special Mission Ship program operating in South China Sea, and the dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11) also docked in Subic Bay port for supply replenishment. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

22 September 2016

SBMA launches GAD komiks, radio program

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), through its Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System, has intensified its involvement in the promotion of gender equality in the workplace and the local community.

In a simple program during the flag-raising ceremony on Monday, SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia and GAD chairperson Amethya Koval announced the release of a comics-magazine called “Juana” that promotes the rights of women and children, and the start of the radio program “Gender Hour,” which tackles topics on gender equality.

Garcia, who is also a GAD champion, lauded the officers and personnel behind the GAD projects for their initiative to promote social awareness and to make the SBMA an active participant in the program.

“GAD focuses on the principle that development is for all,” Garcia stressed. “Whatever the gender is, everyone has the right to equal opportunities to achieve a full and satisfying life, and I’m glad that the SBMA is in the forefront of this advocacy.”

Koval said that “Juana,” a 28-page full color komiks, explains existing laws, such as Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, which promotes equal rights in all aspects related to marriage and family relationships.

The publication also tackles RA 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004) and RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination), as well as RA 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995) and RA 9995 (Anti-Photo and Voyeurism Act), which protects and guarantees dignity and privacy of everyone and full respect for human rights.

The magazine, Koval said, will be distributed free to offices of business locators and investors, schools and other local government units in the Subic Freeport.

Copies were also given to Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (AVAWC) representatives from Olongapo City and the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce.

After the announcement, SBMA GAD officials launched over SBMA radio station Subic Bay FM (89.5 MHZ) the radio program “Gender Hour,” to promote awareness on gender equality, including issues on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT); and sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE).

Koval said that the one-hour interactive radio program will be aired every Monday at 10:00 in the morning. The program is broadcast live and reaches the whole of Central Luzon and abroad via internet streaming.

Koval added that during the soft launch of the radio program, “Gender Hour” had gained listeners and audiences in parts of United States, Japan, Dubai, and other parts of the Middle East.

“We are glad that our program is reaching broader audiences domestically and abroad. This only shows that we are on the right track in promoting awareness of gender equality,” she also said.

Koval also announced that the SBMA GAD is preparing a regular magazine, with writers and contributors from the SBMA and Freeport companies and schools, in order to reach more audiences in the Subic Bay Freeport area. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

Juana, a comics-magazine published by the SBMA under its Gender and Development program, promoting the rights of women and children. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

21 September 2016

Luzon businesses urged to use Subic port

Pampanga businessmen are urging their colleagues in Central and Northern Luzon to utilize Subic Bay Port to improve cost efficiency and logistics turnaround time.

Levy Laus, chairman emeritus of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., at the group’s 53rd quarterly general members meeting on September 8, said choosing Subic port as point of entry and exit for import and export of goods will not only help reduce costs but will also save another business critical resource – time.

Container ship unloads at the new container terminal of the Port of Subic

“Doing business in Subic is the most logical decision. It should be the primary port for businesses in North Luzon,” Laus said.

According to Laus, since there is no congestion in Subic, business transactions are not delayed.

Laus noted Subic Bay port was among the few ports in the country that can meet the Bureau of Customs’ goal to reduce turnaround time for cargo handling and releasing by less than five hours.

For Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC), turnaround time for cargo handling, gate in to gate out for trucks, is less than one hour while processing of documents for cargo releasing takes about four hours.

Roberto Locsin, SBITC general manager, said the one-stop-shop (OSS) in Subic Bay Port reduces processing time and complexity as well as simplifies transacting in Subic for the release of cargos.

“We pulled the necessary offices in one building for faster dispensation,” he said.

Also, the processing time for brokers and truckers’ accreditation only takes a day.

“If the brokers cannot finish the accreditation in one day, the port will still release their cargo; they only need to show proof that they have started with the documentary requirements,” Locsinsaid.

Locsin added that brokers or truckers, once accredited, are not required to have an office in Subic to transact.

The OSS Brokers Lounge, equipped with workstations and free internet connection, may be used to complete their transactions.

Locsin said the Subic Port is well equipped to handle both twenty foot containers and forty foot containers.

To date, SBITC has a rated capacity of 600,000 TEUs.

As of end-2015, containerized cargos that went to Subic jumped 60 percent to 123,000 TEUs from 77,000 TEUs the year before. (Malaya Business Insight)

SBMA, Zambales LGUs celebrate 116th CSC anniversary

Hundreds of government employees representing the 13 local government units (LGUs) in Zambales and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) converged in this Freeport on Friday for the 116th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Civil Service.

With the theme, “Sigaw ng Lingkod Bayani: Malasakit para sa Taumbayan, Kapwa Kawani, at Kalikasan”,this year’s celebration kicked off with a fun walk at the Boardwalk Area, followed by a tree-planting activity led by Commission on Civil Service (CSC) Zambales Director Maria Cristina Gonzales, SBMA Deputy Administrator Ruel John Kabigting, and Zambales Vice Gov. Angel Magsaysay.

To  the delight of the participants, Vice Gov. Magsaysay personally scooped hot arroz caldo for everyone’s snack after the field events.

During the program, Kabigting welcomed the Zambales delegates to what he called the fount of economic progress and showcase of civil service excellence in the region.

“We are honored to welcome you to Subic Bay Freeport, the place where civil servants are united in the essence of public service,” Kabigting said. “We are all here from different government agencies to show that we are committed to serve with malasakit,” he added.

Gonzales explained that the inclusion of malasakit in the theme is a reminder for civil servants to provide quality service to clients with passion and honesty.

“No government service is perfect in its nature. But the public should, somehow, learn to expect a public servant to be reasonable rather than perfect,” she said.

“That is why the government is the one who motivates you,” she told the delegates, pointing out that these may come in terms of higher salaries, better career opportunities, more benefits and more training for personality development.

“While you are seeking the happiness of your clients, the government is seeking ways to give happiness to the employees,” Gonzales added.

Meanwhile, Olongapo City Vice Mayor Jong Cortes called on the government, through the CSC, to start ending contractualization or “endo” in its ranks in order to motivate the private sector to do the same.

Cortes noted that there are still so many employees in government service who are hired under job order (JO) or contract of service (CS), despite their decades of dedicated service in the same position.

“If there is one that should start eradicating the ‘endo’ practice in the labor system, it is the government office. Let us work together to find ways to end 'endo' in the government service,” he urged.

The celebration was concluded with a friendly mini-sports competition and awarding of certificates. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


[left] Delegates from various LGUs in Zambales march past the old Spanish Gate in the Subic Bay Freeport, as they participate in a fun walk during the 116th anniversary celebration of the Civil Service Commission on Friday. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[right] Delegates from various LGUs in Zambales participate in fun games held at the SBMA Gymnasium, as they joined the celebration of the 116th anniversary of the Civil Service Commission in the Subic Bay Freeport on Friday. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

17 September 2016

SBITC services largest ship to call at the Port of Subic

Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC) recently serviced the largest container vessel to call at the New Container Terminals 1 & 2 at the Port of Subic, the APL Tourmaline.

The Singaporean vessel is part of American President Line’s (APL) Manila Express Service (MNX), which features weekly direct calls to Subic Bay and Manila’s North and South Port. The service starts from Kaohsiung, Taiwan then heads to Subic Bay and Manila in the Philippines, before returning to Kaohsiung.

The APL Tourmaline during its maiden call at New Container Terminal 1 of the Port of Subic

The service also connects the Philippines to Japan through Kaohsiung via APL’s Japan-Thailand-Vietnam (JTV) and Japan-Thailand 2 (JT2) services.

With a length overall of 294.11 meters and capacity of 4,500 TEUs, APL Tourmaline replaces the 259.80-meter long, 4,330-TEU capacity APL Bahrain as the largest vessel to be serviced by SBITC. APL Bahrain made its maiden call to the Port of Subic in 2010.

The vessel highlights the port’s capability to handle large ships and increased container traffic as more businesses start using Subic for its logistical advantages.

SBITC is a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI). ICTSI is in the business of port operations, management and development. ICTSI’s portfolio of terminals and projects spans developed and emerging market economies in the Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, and Africa. ICTSI has received global acclaim for its public-private partnerships with governments divesting of their port assets to the private sector. (Manila Bulletin)

15 September 2016

Alvarez, Belmonte back Subic port upgrade

MANILA – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. supported yesterday the proposal of their colleagues for the modernization of the Subic port to ease vehicular congestion in Metro Manila.

Alvarez said the proposal is a “good idea” that will not only benefit Metro Manila in terms of fewer cargo trucks crisscrossing it but will spur economic growth in the central and northern parts of Luzon as well.

Gantry cranes at the New Container Terminal 1 of the Port of Subic

He  said modernizing the Subic port and maximizing its use would definitely ease traffic congestion in the National Capital Region, which causes productivity losses of at least P2.4 million a day based on a recent study.

He noted that the Subic port, which has an annual capacity of 600,000 containers, received only 123,000 containers last year.

Alvarez’s predecessor Belmonte also supported his colleague’s proposal, describing it as a “great idea.”

Another Quezon City congressman, Alfred Vargas, said the suggestion, if adopted, would result in more economic activities in Subic and neighboring areas.

“This means more jobs and more opportunities. These can hopefully translate to economic and social development in that part of the country,” he said.

“This plan, coupled with increased infrastructure spending particularly on interconnecting roads, alternative highways like C6 and bridges across the island of Luzon, will definitely solve a lot of urban management, environmental and economic issues,” Vargas said.

He noted that most imported cargoes enter the country though the port in Manila, where the flow of cargo trucks has to be carefully managed to lessen traffic jams.

Several congressmen, including Rodolfo Albano lll of Isabela and Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar, suggested over the weekend the full use of Subic port where they said importers from the northern part of Metro Manila, and central and northern Luzon could unload their cargoes.

This will greatly reduce the number of cargo trucks entering the National Capital Region to pick up or deliver imported goods, they said.

They said the Manila port and its environs are among the highly congested areas in Metro Manila.

For his part, deputy speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said importers based in areas south of Metro Manila should use the Batangas City port.

He said a large part of imported cargoes, equipment and raw materials that arrive at the Manila port is destined for manufacturing plants in the Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) region.

These need not be unloaded at the Manila port and transported to their ultimate destinations through the National Capital Region, he said.

He stressed that the cargoes could be unloaded in Batangas City, which is nearer to their destinations than if these would be transported from Manila.

According to a recent Japan International Cooperation Agency study, the country loses billions in fuel cost and lost opportunities due to traffic congestion. (Jess Diaz, The Philippine Star)

13 September 2016

Frank Cable visits Subic Bay during Indo-Asia-Pacific deployment

The submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) arrived in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, Sept. 10, and the ships seventh port call during its deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The Frank Cable team consisting of more than 500 sailors and civilian mariners is currently on deployment to provide vital flexibility to the fleet commanders, extending the range and impact of U.S. naval forces.

American submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS-40)

While in Subic Bay, Frank Cable's Repair Department will provide support services to the guided-missile submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772), and her crew will participate in community outreach events and take advantage of various tours offered by Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

USS Frank Cable is one of two forward-deployed submarine tenders and is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to conduct maintenance and support of deployed U.S. naval force submarines and surface vessels in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

For more information on the USS Frank Cable, find us on Facebook at USS Frank Cable (AS 40), or

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from USS Frank Cable (AS 40), visit

12 September 2016

New finds shine in Philippine aquathlon

New faces emerged in the standard and sprint distances in the Triathlon Association of the Philippines’ (TRAP)-organized first Philippine Aquathlon Championships held yesterday at the Camayan Beach Resort inside the Subic Freeport Zone.

Iligan trackster and UST alumnus Leyann Ramo finished strong in the final run leg to become the country’s first female national aquathlon champion, clocking 41 minutes, 17 seconds, in the event which drew 164 entries. Vicky Deldio, unable to conquer the strong currents in the open water swim, finished a far second in 43:49, with Marga de los Reyes third in 46:15.

The race was backed by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Camayan Beach Resort, Ocean Adventure, Standard Insurance, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines, Century Tuna, The Light House, Subic Holiday Villas and Vita Coco.

La Salle Zobel’s Inaki Emil Lorbes, a member of the Philippine Swim League under coach Susan Papa, ruled the 1K run-600 swim-1K run for Aspirants 13-15 where TRAP will select the country’s representatives to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires.

Lorbes was able to catch up with the lead group in the swim leg and shocked the more favored national team members en route to a solo finish in the race. He clocked 18:25, beating Juan Baniqued (18:27) and Marcus Faytaren (18:37).

Borlain sisters Samantha (18:42) and Tara (19:19) finished 1-2, relegating national junior team member Lauren Plaza to third (19:21). (Philippine Star)

Photo from TRAP facebook page

11 September 2016

Lawmakers push Subic modernization

LAWMAKERS are urging the Duterte administration to prioritize the modernization project of the Subic Container Port to decongest Metro Manila and ease the traffic jams in the capital which have caused productivity losses of at least P2.4 million a day.

Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said Saturday goods and commodities intended for Central and Northern Luzon no longer need to pass through Metro Manila if Subic’s operations are optimized.

“It is indeed a great idea. It is about time we discussed the Subic Port modernization project,” Albano said.

Albano’s statement followed a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency which showed that Subic, given its strategic assets, is equipped to acquire a higher share of the country’s growing container cargo volume.

Subic’s location will also ensure a shorter point of entry for cargoes arriving from or going to Singapore.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone also said prioritizing the Subic port modernization project in the government’s menu of solutions to the traffic woes in Metro Manila will also spur economic growth across Central and North Luzon.

“I fully support such proposal. It will greatly help decongest Manila,” he said.

“Anything that will lessen the movement of people and vehicles in Metro Manila is a welcome development,” ParaƱaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting himself added.

The Subic Container Port is a significant component of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development (SCAD) strategy, which includes the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex), and the Clark International Airport to form a global logistics hub and international gateway for Central Luzon.

However, the port, which can easily absorb northbound cargoes, has remained underutilized.

The Jica study showed there is a capacity shortage of 14 million 20-foot equivalent units or TEUs (the capacity unit of container ships) for the Pacific Region, with Singapore already reaching its limit and Hong Kong remaining severely silted.

Subic Container Port has a capacity of 600,000 TEUs, but by 2012, the volume remained at less than 40,000 TEUs.

Albano stressed that a fully modernized port in Subic means that there is a sufficient volume at Subic Port that is worth marketing to vessel lines.

There is also cost advantage ranging from $100 to $200 per TEU for shippers from Pampanga and Zambales to ship through Subic rather than from the traffic congested Manila ports, he said.

A 2014 Jica study has warned that productivity losses could reach P6 billion a day in 2030 if the traffic mess is not solved.

Lawmakers have cited this as basis for proposals to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila. (Maricel Cruz, Manila Standard)

Overview of Subic Bay's port facilities- a legacy of the former US Naval Base, with the New Container Terminals 1&2 developed recently by the SBMA through JICA.

08 September 2016

Subic bible park hosts mass baptism for Ayta tribesmen

At least 25 Ayta tribesmen in Subic Bay Freeport converted to Christianity on Saturday during a mass baptism held at the Holy Land Subic Sanctuary and Biblical Theme Park.

The natives, who belonged to the Pastolan Ayta community, received the sacrament at the “Jordan River” of the Holy Land theme park here, where the likeness of Jesus Christ being consecrated by John the Baptist could be seen.

The natives were baptized by Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, Bataan, on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the “Mahal Ka Ng Dios” Outreach Ministry of the Bethesda Springs of Hope Healing Foundation, Inc.

The event coincided with the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Joint Management Agreement (JMA) between the Pastolan Ayta tribe and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), which covered the development of the Ayta ancestral lands in Subic Bay Freeport.

It also marked the 63rd birthday of Mrs. Maribi Garcia, wife of SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia, and leading light of the Bethesda Springs of Hope ministry.

The day-long event was also highlighted by the distribution of scholarship grants for deserving Aeta students, as well as gifts from Bethesda Ministry sponsors.

“This is the best birthday gift for me,” Mrs. Garcia said, as she presented the Pastolan natives who have come for the sacrament of baptism.

Those baptized included toddlers, as well as teenagers and young adults. Among them was Neneng Pelayo, a Pastolan housewife who said she was miraculously cured of her kidney ailment after Bethesda members prayed over her last year.

The Holy Land Holy Land Subic Sanctuary and Biblical Theme Park is a unique attraction in this free port, which is otherwise known for nature-themed parks featuring exotic animals like tigers and false killer whales.

The biblical park is popular among Christian pilgrims because of its life-sized statues depicting the Way of the Cross, as well as other events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Holy Land Subic straddles foothills and forest areas that form part of the more than 4,000-hectare ancestral domain awarded to the Ambala Ayta tribe in Subic Bay Freeport. The Ayta land also covers part of housing areas, industrial parks and tourism attractions here. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)


Members of the indigenous Pastolan Ayta tribe line up to receive the sacrament during a mass baptism held on Saturday at the Holy Land Sanctuary and Biblical Theme Park in the Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

No need to worry, Garcia assures Hanjin-Subic workers

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia has assured workers of Subic shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) that their company is not affected by the problem besetting Hanjin Shipping Corporation.

“I think that the Hanjin workers in Subic have nothing to worry about because the financial woes affecting Hanjin Shipping has no impact on Subic,” Garcia said.

The Hanjin shipbuilding facility at the Subic Bay Freeport (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

“They can rest assured that the Hanjin company in Subic is a separate entity and the one here is very stable,” Garcia added.

The Subic official issued the statement following inquiries from workers at HHIC-Phil’s Redondo Peninsula shipyard in this free port after Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd., reputedly the world’s seventh largest shipping line, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States last Friday.

Accordingly, the Korean shipping line was left bankrupt when creditor-banks rejected its debt-restructuring plan. Lately, Hanjin Group, which is its parent company, has announced it will out up $90 million to bail out the shipping line.

Garcia pointed out that the shipbuilding firm Hanjin in Subic Freeport and the bankrupt company Hanjin Shipping are two separate entities.

“HHIC-Phil is not related to Hanjin Shipping, so there is no need to worry,” he said, pointing out that the Subic shipbuilder has separated from the Hanjin Group in 2005.

Earlier, HHIC-Phil Managing Director for External Trade Yoo Hoan Jo also said that the Subic shipbuilding firm remains financially healthy and stable.

“Despite what is happening in the shipping industry, orders for container ships are still coming,” Jo said in a statement. He said the new orders include three Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCVs) that will have the capacity to carry 20,600 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers in one hauling.

The HHIC-Phil official added that the new projects “would likely mean additional workers for the completion of these three ULCVs.”

Jo said that “the tried and tested Filipino workers at the Subic shipyard” has helped Hanjin deliver 91 vessels since it started full operation at the Redondo Peninsula in 2008.

He added that the company has delivered 16 vessels last year and has numerous orders this year, including the three ULCVs.

Jo also said that the Subic shipbuilder now has 35,000 direct and indirect employees working on various operations at HHIC-Phil’s Subic facility. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)

07 September 2016

ICTSI offers Subic port to ease Port of Manila congestion

THE International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), operator of the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), is renewing its proposal of an infrastructure “master plan” to the Duterte administration to improve the flow of trade in the country’s key port.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Management Association of the Philippines’ (MAP) 14th International CEO Conference, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Head of Asia Pacific Operations Christian Gonzalez suggested a holistic approach to facilitate goods inflow into the country.

Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Asia Pacific Region Head

“We all need roads, we know how many cars there are in the streets and public transportation needs to be improved. What we’ve heard from the current government is positive because they intend to build more roads, but they need to fast-track it. The critical one is really the roads,” Gonzalez said.

The establishment of a proper logistics network should be looked at outside of Metro Manila, such as in Subic port, where ICTSI operates Terminals 1 and 2 through its subsidiaries.

Aside from road infrastructure, creation of inland facilties, such as warehouses, can incentivize more businesses to use the Subic port instead of the crowded Manila port. These initiatives can encourage the shift of more cargo from the Port of Manila to Subic.

Last year ICTSI moved 100,0000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) of cargo previously accommodated in Manila, to Subic. The Subic port’s installed capacity is at 600,000 TEUs.

The port operator is constrained from moving more because of the disjointed infrastructure network in the area.

Creating alternative modes to deliver cargo, such as water transport, and a dedicated railway track for cargo to connect Subic and Bataan, is also a welcome move, he said.

“If the government wants to talk about this, we are open to it,” Gonzalez said. (Catherine Pillas, BusinessMirror)