This site is powered by the Media Production Department,
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)


23 February 2017

21 February 2017

Increase in Subic Freeport investments push workforce to 112,653

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) revealed that an increase in the number of investments inside this premier Freeport has led to the increase of job opportunities for Filipinos as the current number of the workforce here rose to 112,653.

SBMA Administrator Atty. Wilma Amy T. Eisma said that the 112,653 total active workers inside the Freeport shows a significant increase of 11 percent from 2015 due to a 12.76 percent increase in the number of locators.

A welder works at the Hanjin Shipyard, one of the top employers in Subic Bay Freeport (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

Currently, the Subic Bay Freeport has 1,536 companies investing compared to 1,340 companies that were recorded in 2015. Eisma said there are 1,093 new accounts that are now being processed by the SBMA.

Eisma commended the top five employers of the SBMA, namely: Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines with 33,296 employees; Nidec Subic Phils Corp. with 5,240 employees; Sanyo Denki Phils. Inc. with 4,011; Tong Lung Phils Metal Industry Co. Inc. with 2,900; and Nicera Phils Inc. with 2,294.

The administrator said one of the main reasons why companies chose to invest in Subic Bay Freeport Zone is that the area is accessible by land, air and sea, pointing out that it is conducive to both tourists and the movement of goods. Eisma added that the Freeport has a high quality of air and ambience since it is gifted with natural resources, mountains, and water and nature parks.

“We also pride ourselves with the safety and security provided by our law enforcers here. The Freeport has gated entry and exit points,” she said, adding that there are zoning guidelines and restrictions that are strictly enforced.

The Freeport is also an area that has tax incentives and duty-free importation of raw materials and capital equipment. Along with these is the unrestricted entry of foreign investments,” Eisma said.

But aside from being chosen as an area to invest, Eisma also pointed out that there are many reasons why investors have focused their businesses here. She pointed out that the area is profitable for business, share values were increased, there is low business risk, capital expenditure is in place, the quality of life inside the Freeport is high and there is ease of doing business here.

“These factors are what we should maintain to provide investors the much needed help they deserve while providing employment to our fellow countrymen,” Eisma said. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)

‘Centennial III’ reigns in Subic to Boracay race

Boracay — For the first time, TP 52 Davidson Centennial III of Judes Echauz trounced top contender and veteran campaigner Jelik, skippered by Hong Kong’s steel magnate Frank Pong to win the 8th Standard Insurance Subic Bay to Boracay Race (SBBR) started at the Freeport last Saturday noon.

Jun Avecilla, chairman of the organizing committee, announced that Centennial III, with all Filipino-crew arrived in this pristine white beach resort with 11:33:14 nosing out Jelik with 11:50: 02 or difference of 16: 48.

TP 52 Centennial III (center) bags the 8th Standard Insurance Subic to Boracay Race

“This is the first that Centennial III beats Jelik on the line in the SBBR since the competition started seven years ago,” according to Avecilla adding that Centennial III placing second to Jelik for the past five years.

Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Customs Atipodes placed third with12: 02: 46 in annual regatta grand prix sanctioned by the Philippine Sailing Association the Asian Yachting Grand Prix and fully backed by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Watercraft Venture Corp., the Lighthouse Marina Resort and Subic Sailing Club.

Other local contenders in the Racing Class I (RCI) are Excel 53 Karakoa helmed by businessman Ray Ordoveza and regular campaigner Black Baza captained by Anthony Root and Steve Manning, wherein the organizers are computer their time of arrival as of press time.

From Subic, the race will pass through the Bataan Peninsula, Batangas beaches, Mindoro, Tablas and Carabao Island in Romblon before reaching the tip of Boracay Island.

However, Scallywag, the highly fancied 100-footer of Malaysian-born Seng Huang Leng, failed to erase their previous time record arriving 9:26:31, according to Avecilla.

Scallywag is the former Ragamuffin 100, the same boat that holds the record in the Subic Bay to Boracay Race in 14 hours, 23 minutes, 17 seconds set in 2015.

The four-day regatta, a combination of point-to-point and windward/leeward courses, is part of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix season. Captain Tom Sheppard is the main judge.

The Boracay Regatta Cup also offers precious points for the coveted Asian Yachting Skipper and Yacht of the Year awards.

Overall winners in each three class of the combined Subic Bay to Boracay Race and the Boracay Cup Regatta series will bring home the impressive hand crafted solid brass trophy replicas by Fernando Cacnio, a multiawarded Filipino visual artist.

The Philippine Coast Guard will provide escorts for the participants during the race for safety and security. (BusinessMirror)

19 February 2017

Subic to Boracay race unfolds

All eyes were on reigning overall champion Centennial III as the eighth Standard Insurance Subic Bay to Boracay Race and the Boracay Cup Regatta flagged off in the waters off the world-class Subic Sailing Club Saturday (Feb 18).

Skippered by Philippine Sailing Association president Judes Echauz, the 52-foot Centennial III is out to make it three in a row as the event’s overall champion.

The Subic Centennial III sails off from Subic Bay

But Centennial III, a first-generation TP52-class yacht that was built in 2002, is expected to be crowded at the top by perennial rival Jelik of Hong Kong magnate Frank Pong, and Scallywag, the highly fancied 100-footer of Malaysian-born billionaire Seng Huang Leng.

Scallywag is the former Ragamuffin 100, the same boat that holds the record in the Subic Bay to Boracay Race in 14 hours, 23 minutes, 17 seconds set in 2015.

Sailboats over the waters of Subic Bay

While Scallywag is tipped to break the existing record, Centennial III is expected to finish not too far behind. Last year, Centennial III finished second to Jelik in the SBBR but held on in Boracay by winning three of the six races.

The three top finishes in the famous island paradise and a decision by the jury to overturn a late protest by Freefire enabled Centennial III to retain the overall crown.

“I hope we can do it again. It will be three straight if ever,” said the 69-year-old Echauz.

Around 15 yachts from Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines will see action in this annual event beginning today and ending on Feb. 24 in Boracay.

The event is fully supported by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Watercraft Venture Corp., the Lighthouse Marina Resort and Subic Sailing Club. (Abac Cordero, Philippine Star)

More photos courtesy of SAGS Subic Sailing

Opening party on the eve of the Regatta at the Subic Lighthouse Marina

17 February 2017

SBMA reveals 10-point Agenda for the next six years

The new management team of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) revealed its 10-Point Agenda which defines the direction of the agency in the next six years.

“The Ten-Point Agenda is a set of priorities we would like to achieve. It is a direction that would guide us where we want to go and that is revitalizing the Subic Freeport,” SBMA Administrator Atty.Wilma Amy T. Eisma said.

The Agenda she said focuses on Locator Service Excellence, the Green Initiative, Safety and Security, Build, Build, Build, Subic Freeport as the Gateway, Community Engagement, Policy Reforms and Good Governance Program, FDIs and MSMEs, the Freeport Expansion, and Tourism Star.

Under the Locator Service Excellence, the SBMA will create a Non-Stop Shop which is a 24/7 on-line customer service and virtual complaint desk, and One-Stop Shop that would receive suggestions and complaints of the visiting public to Subic Bay thru Dial 888 Hotline or personal appearance.

Along with this, the SBMA is institutionalizing the Red Carpet Treatment to all locators and investors by implementing the Cut the Red Tape Project which will shorten to three days the releasing of certificates of registration and tax exemptions (CR/CRTE), building permit, Environmental Compliance Certificate, among others.

For the Green Initiative, this Administration will commence its improved climate change adaptation program thru broader coastal clean-up drives and tree planting activities and the use of renewable energy to mitigate any negative effect of the agency’s operations on the environment and, possibly, to secure ISO 14000 Certificate compliance before the end of the year.

SBMA will institutionalize safety programs across the Freeport by improving its safety and security capabilities in land, sea and forest with the acquisition of new equipment such as speed boats, motorcycles, patrol cars, as well as the prohibition of walk-in vendors and mendicants. These also include the establishment of security protocols, like using the SBMA website and the radio station, and the intensified campaign to make the Freeport drug-free area.

“The Agenda focuses on SBMA’s investment campaign to meet our vision of becoming a highly-urbanized Freeport in the near future. We must immediately start building and improving our facilities,” Eisma said.

The Administrator also said that under the national government’s “Build, Build, Build” program, agency’s engineering department will be able to finalize the feasibility study on Subic’s port development plan, Tipo Road expansion, bulk terminal expansion for PPP, improvement of access roads to Morong and surrounding municipalities, and the construction of SBMA’s corporate center that will house all of the agency’s offices and departments.

Meanwhile, Subic Freeport will be promoted as the Gateway to Southeast Asia and the world by intensifying marketing campaigns for its airport and seaport with the former reviving domestic and international flight operations, regaining status as an international airport and settling pending issues with CAAP; and the latter by introducing more competitive port-related tariffs and fees and promoting ship-to-ship business model to increase container traffic by at least five percent annually.
Complementing its infrastructure development programs, SBMA will step-up promotion the of high technology industries prioritizing research and development (R&D), creative, BPO and ICT while maintaining Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and USA as key sources of foreign direct investments (FDIs).

In the area of the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the agency will push for the signing of an agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to provide MSME-investors easy access to their respective investment–related programs. On top of this, SBMA will allocate a marketing budget to launch an aggressive marketing campaign to promote SBFZ, especially in the new frontiers like Russia and China.

Moreover, the SBMA will also drum beat its tourism industry thru Tourism Star programs by organizing an aggressive marketing campaign to promote Subic Bay as the next cruise ship playground, launching several landmark events such as hosting a one-week festival or conference featuring science and engineering design of modern world watercrafts to be dubbed Ultra High Speed Watercraft Festival, and Dragon Boat Festival, music fest, Christmas fest, grand Subic sale, and the like.

To address the shrinking available land for new investments, SBMA will identify areas for possible expansion outside the Freeport and sign a memorandum of understanding with local government units (LGU) as prescribed under the Presidential Proclamation 532 before a master plan will be developed.
For the Community Engagement, SBMA will develop capability building programs with indigenous peoples (IPs) and volunteers in the contiguous LGUs to increase competencies and generate more quality jobs; institutionalize an employment program for Subic Bay volunteers and an educational assistance plan in close coordination with TESDA and DOLE.

“The very important part of the Agenda is the policy reforms and good governance program the SBMA will be initiating that will guarantee the realization of all other initiatives in the agenda,” Eisma explained.

First under this agenda is the filing in Congress the amendment of RA 7227 which will seek to allocate for SBMA the use the one percent (1%) of the five percent (5%) gross income collected in the Subic Freeport; implementation of the moratorium on expansion of leased areas by locators engaged in trading of used trucks and construction equipment; expansion of the Integrity Pledge Program by including port users and other customers.

Also included are an intensified campaign against corruption, smuggling and illicit trade; improved incentive package of investors thru modernizing the Philippine Incentive Regime, and institutionalized programs under the “End Contractualization Initiative.” (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

15 February 2017

Toyota dealership breaks ground in Subic Bay

Toyota Subic Inc. (TSI) will start construction of its P150-million multi-level showroom and service center following the groundbreaking of its 10,000 square-meter facility in this premier freeport.

“If there is anything that we can help you even more, don’t hesitate. There are a lot of other business opportunities, and we hope to do more business with you.” Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Wilma T. Eisma told TSI during the ceremony held Monday (Feb. 13) at the Subic Gateway District where the facility will soon rise.

For his part, TSI Chairman Dr. David Go said he is confident that with SBMA as partner, their new endeavor in Subic will be able to sail progressively against any tide.

“Opening a new facility is always paved with many difficulties. Nothing really is ever easy at the start, even with a product with key competitive advantages of quality, affordability, and worry free ownership,” Go said.

“It is still backed up with required huge capital funding, strategic location, state-of-the-art facilities, and exemplary employees,” he added.

TSI, a joint partnership between GT Capital Auto Dealership Holdings Inc. (GTCAD) and JBT Global Holdings Inc. together with its automotive subsidiary, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp, is expected to be fully operational on or before December of this year.

Jose B. Tan Jr., President of TSI said Toyota is the top selling brand for passenger and commercial vehicles in the country since 2002.

“Toyota holds 40% share of the Philippine market as of December 2016, with a unique and distinguished dealership personality that they enjoy exploring,” he said.

TSI is the seventh dealership facility with the ongoing construction of the sixth dealership facility in the City of Tuguegarao. (NBM/MPD-SBMA)

SBMA Administrator Wilma T. Eisma (center) joins Toyota Motors executives (from left) Jose B. Tan, President, Toyota Subic, Inc.; Kei Mizugushi, Executive Vice-President, Toyota Motor Philippines, Marketing Division; Dr. David Go, Chairman. Toyota Subic, Inc. and Carmelo Maria Bautista, President GT Capital Holdings, Inc and Director of Toyota Subic, Inc, during the groundbreaking ceremony at the Subic Bay Gateway district in Subic Bay Freeport Zone. (AMD/NBM/MPD-SBMA)

14 February 2017

USS Louisville arrives in Subic Bay

The Los Angeles-class submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724) arrived in Subic Bay Tuesday (Feb. 14) for a brief port call that highlights the strong community and military connections between the Philippines and the United States.

The Louisville crew will participate in a series of community service projects and sporting events during the crew’s visit to the Philippines.

The ship will also use the stop to conduct some minor maintenance with the assistance of Filipino companies.

This is the second time Louisville visited the free port. It made its first port call in Subic Bay in 2012.

The Philippines is a longstanding treaty ally of the United States with a history of partnership of more than 70 years. The American and Philippine militaries have worked closely together on areas of mutual interest such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter terrorism, cybersecurity and maritime security.

Louisville is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

According to the official US Navy web site, the Louisville’s mission is to “seek out and destroy enemy ships and submarines, and to protect our naval interests.”

Like 31 of the 51 Los Angeles types in the US Navy’s submarine fleet, the Louisville is equipped with 12 vertical US launch system tubes for firing Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles. It also carries Harpoon anti-surface ship missiles with a range of 70 nautical miles (130 km) and has mine-laying capabilities.

As an attack submarine, the Louisville has received awards for its role in the Navy’s Middle East campaign. It reportedly carried out the first war patrol conducted by an American submarine since World War II as Operation: Desert Storm began in January 1991, and also earned the distinction of being the first to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles against targets in Iraq, as well as having fired the first war shot of Desert Storm. (SNL)

A tugboat guides the USS Louisville (SSN-724), a Los Angeles-class attack submarine, as she approaches the Alava Pier of Subic Bay Freeport Tuesday (February 14) for a routine port visit. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

13 February 2017

Huge field gears up for CT Ironman 70.3 in Subic

Over 800 athletes, including 22 professionals, make up the early roster in the 2017 Century Tuna Ironman 70.3, which fires off next month in Subic Bay.

Organizers expect the international field to hit over 1,000, when the third staging of the premier swim-bike-run event is held on March 12.

The inaugural run drew 902 participants, while 823 competitors took part in last year's edition of the event.

Craig Alexander of Australia and Swiss Caroline Steffen will return to defend their title, but the duo are in for a tough challenge as other competitors are out to foil their bids for back-to-back crowns.

Among the contenders are: inaugural champion Tim Reed, Sam Betten, Jason Hall and Dan Wilson of Australia, South African Johan Stofberg, Till Schramm of Germany and Eric Watson of Bahrain.

The CT Ironman 70.3 caps a three-day weekend that includes a 2GO Bike Service and Expo on March 10, and the Alaska Ironkids and Century Tuna Superbods: The Underpants Run on March 11.

Great Britain, the US and Australia are fielding in 23, 22 and 20 entries, respectively. Singapore has 16, Guam 14, Japan 12, Germany 11, while Switzerland has 10, guaranteeing a spirited battle for top honors in various age-group divisions.

Other countries participating are Argentina, American Samoa, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Monaco, Mexico, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam.

Aside from the centerpiece pro and Asian Elite, other titles to be disputed are the 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and the 70-and-above age categories.

Also on tap is the relay competition featuring the mixed and the all male and all female classes, according to the organizing SEI.

The 1.9-kilometer swim will start and end at the Acea Beach in Subic Bay with the 90-km bike course also to fire off at the Acea Subic Bay to the Floridablanca interchange via Tipo Tollgate and back.

The 21-km run will start at the Subic Bay Convention Center (SBECC) and transit the SBMA en route to the turnaround at Acea Beach with the finish line at SBECC. (ABS-CBN News)

10 February 2017

Joven tops stage four in Subic Bay, Roque holds on to overall Ronda lead

KINETIX Lab-Army's Cris Joven outsprinted defending champion Jan Paul Morales of Navy-Standard Insurance and Ryan Serapio of Ilocos Sur to top Stage Four of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2017 that started at the Lighthouse Marina and ended at the Harbor Point in Subic Bay.

Joven, 30, checked in with the same time as Morales and Serapio and a big group of riders in two hours, 40 minutes and six seconds but clinched an eight-second bonus for the stage win.

Cris Joven winds up a hair ahead in a bunched sprint finish

"I made my move in the final stretch when I sensed I still have some energy left in me inside," said Joven, who started training for the event only last month as he focused on his job in the Army.

"I wasn't expecting much in this race because I was off cycling for one year and only returned to action last month," said Joven, whose best finish was fourth overall five years ago.

Navy's Rudy Roque managed to stay with the lead group to keep the red jersey with an aggregate time of 11:12:15.

The 31-year-old Morales is now in second spot, a minute and a half off pace with a total clocking of 11:13:45.

After a forgettable start, Morales has topped the Stage Two criterium in Vigan, Ilocos Sur Sunday and the Angeles-Subic Stage Three.

"I was a marked man since I took the lead and I'm just happy to still remain on top even though they keep watching over me," said Roque, of Tibo, Bataan.

Ronald Lomotos slid to third with a time of 11:14:33.

Serapio moved up three places to fourth with a time of 11:16:07.

Joven was also a big gainer as he zoomed from No. 14 to No. 9 with 11:16:48.

Rounding out the top 10 were Navy's Jay Lampawog (11:16:12), Kinetix Lab-Army's Reynaldo Navarro (11:16:21), Go for Gold's Joshua Mari Bonifacio (11:16:28), Navy's Daniel Ven Carino (11:16:35) and Go for Gold's Ismael Grospe, Jr. (11:17:43).

The race will take a two-day breather before resuming action on Sunday with the Lucena-Pili Stage Five, the race's longest stage at 251 kms passing Tatlong Eme in Atimonan, Quezon.

The champion gets P1 million courtesy of LBC in partnership with MVP Sports Foundation, Petron, Mitsubishi,, Partas, Maynilad, Standard Insurance, CCN, Bike Xtreme, NLEX, PhilCycling and 3Q Sports Event Management. (

09 February 2017

Sailors race from Subic to Boracay

WITH top notch sailors and boats coming in from Hong Kong, excitement is building up on the Standard Insurance 8th Subic Bay to Boracay Race.

Organizers led by Ernesto Echauz and Jun Avecilla said this as around 18 boats and more than 200 crack sailors from all the globe come over to take part in this extreme sailing action.

Participants will head down south to one of the country’s famous tropical paradise, Boracay.

“This will be a part of the Asian Yachting Circuit that determines the Skipper of the Year and Yacht of the Year,” said Avecilla during yesterday’s press briefing at the Kamayan Restaurant in Padre Faura, Manila.

The event is also part of the Philippine Sailing Grand Prix, which is a series of popular racing events in the country that put Subic in the compass of the international sailing community.

The SBBR is just the start. It will be followed by the Boracay Cup Regatta on Monday, Feb. 20.

Then, the 10th Commodore’s Cup Regatta will be on tap from April 19 to 23, also in Subic Bay.

All of these are part of the 2017 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Circuit organized by Asian

“The coming race is going to be very exciting. Because, we are going to see the top boats from Hongkong coming over,” added Echauz, who is also the president of the Philipine Sailing Association.

Syd Fisher’s Dubois 90 Ragamuffin, skippered by David Witt, recorded the fastest time of 14 hours, 23 minutes and 17 seconds that last time around.

This time, a bigger boat Scallywag, which is the former Ragamuffin 100, will be there to beat the record under new owner Seng Huang Lee.

Last year’s Frank Pong’s Custom Dibley 75 Jelik navigated through the Bataan and Batangas Mountain Range, and cleared the notoriously tricky Verde Passage with ease.

Jelik went on to claim the handicap honors by two hours over defending IRC Cruising Class 1 champion TP52 Standard Insurance-Centennial III, which belongs to Echauz.

This year’s Echauz’s boat will go head on again against Ray Ordoveza’s Excel 53 Karakoa, which lost by a point to Standard Insurance-Centennial III last year.

Also in contention in the IRC Racing Class 2 event is Nick Burns’ Sydney GTS43 Mandrake, which took the class handicap plum. (Peter Atencio, Manila Standard Sports)

Top contender Jelik, skippered by Hongkong’s Frank Pong, drew first blood as the foreign entries dominated the 7th Standard Insurance Subic Bay to Boracay Race last year.

Subic Bay joins World Wetlands Day celebration

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) launched the 1st Subic Bay Wetlands Celebration Wednesday (Feb. 1), joining the international community in celebrating this year’s World Wetlands Day.

With the theme “Wetlands for disaster risk reduction”, the two-day Subic celebration culminated with the holding of Biay Mangrove Adventure with around 150 employees and environmental officers from different companies participating in various activities related to mangrove protection.

SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma said the activity which was spearheaded by the agency’s environment arm, the Ecology Center, was aimed at educating the participants on the importance of wetlands to the coastal communities, the environment and marine life.

“We appreciate the participants for sharing their time in raising public awareness about the importance of the wetlands and contribute to the conservation and protection of our mangrove forests,” she said.

Inside the Freeport’s Binictican-Malawaan Mangrove Area, participants were divided into groups: one group assigned to pick-up, identify and record trash and garbage found inside the mangrove area, and another to plant mangrove samplings to “vacant” portions of the area.

Another group was assigned to count and record how many living crustaceans they could find in the selected one square meter-area of the wetland to determine the biodiversity in the area.

SBMA Ecology Center head Amethya Dela Llana-Koval said the records will be used as reference in formulating a mangrove management plan that will define guidelines and policies related to the protection and conservation of all mangrove areas in the Freeport.

There is an estimated 62 hectares of wetlands in Subic Freeport located in Boton, Binictican-Malawaan, Triboa A, Triboa B, Nabasan and Ilanin, where 37 species of mangroves are found and serve as feeding, spawning and nursery grounds to many marine life and considered as nature’s buffer to natural hazards such as flooding caused by storms, cyclones, storm surges and tsunamis.

Among the objectives of the MMP is to regulate the harvesting of all resources, such as fish, crabs, woods among others, inside the mangrove areas through the help of a community-based monitoring team.

Koval also lauded Administrator Eisma for her support to environment-related activities of Ecology Center, including the launching of 1st Subic Bay Wetlands Day celebration.

In a meeting with environmental officers prior to celebration day, Koval remarked that Eisma is supporting all programs of the Ecology Center, particularly one that penalizes litterers and trash throwers in the Freeport zone.

“Galit ang ating Administrator sa basura na madalas makita sa ating mangrove areas na madalas maging sanhi ng pagkasira ng ating bakawan at pagkaubos ng mga yamang tubig,” she said.

She noted that one may not realize the importance of mangroves until the day we lose our water resources and habitat. “Mangroves are the life of our water resources. When the eco-system is put in danger by destroying the mangrove areas, other parts of the environment are also affected,” she explained.

World Wetlands Day was first celebrated internationally in 1997 and held every 2nd of February by holding activities to raise public awareness and promote the conservation and protection of wetlands including seminars, mangrove adventures, festivities and other activities. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


[1] An indigenous Aeta woman joins other volunteers in planting mangrove saplings during the celebration of World Wetlands Day at the Malawaan-Binictican mangrove area in Subic Bay Freeport Thursday (Feb. 02) morning. Celebrated every February 2 each year, World Wetlands Day with this year’s theme “Wetlands for Disaster Risks Reduction”, marks the date of the adaption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 02, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[2] Volunteers conduct an epifaunal survey using a quadrant frame, a method in determining and counting living species in swamplands. The activity was part of the celebration of World Wetlands Day at the Malawaan-Binictican mangrove area in Subic Bay Freeport Thursday (Feb. 02) morning. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

02 February 2017

SBMA set to attract more Japanese investors to Subic Bay

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is eyeing more Japanese companies to invest inside this premier freeport after the agency bagged a contract with Japanese company Subic Smart Community Corporation (SSCC) to upgrade the Subic golf course.

SBMA Administrator Atty. Wilma T. Eisma said that the upgrading of the Subic golf course will play an integral part in attracting more tourists to the Freeport.

The Subic Bay golf clubhouse 

“When we first envisioned the Subic Freeport during its initial stage, we were thinking of making this into a port city like Singapore. Aside from the usual port operations like cargo and bulk handling, we imagined Subic Freeport as a tourist haven for local and international tourists alike,” she said.

The SBMA has approved a $30-million investment for the upgrade of the Subic Bay golf course by the SSCC. According to Masafumi Miyamoto, the company will develop Subic Bay golf course into a world-class venue for tournaments and a housing facility for the elderly and retirees.

Miyamoto is the founder of the Smart Community Co., Ltd., the first and largest continuing-care retirement community in Japan.

The two-pronged development project is touted as a potential major asset in the Subic Freeport. The first part is the $3-million renovation and redevelopment of the whole golf course within the span of two years.

The renovation will include the clubhouse, sprinkler systems and repair of ponds, improvement of the greens and the upgrade of machinery and equipment such as golf carts and service vehicles.

Miyamoto said the golf course will remain in operation despite the renovation, leaving open a minimum of nine holes.

The second part of the development project is the $27-million expansion of all areas for the Subic Smart Community within a six-year period. This will include the construction of 200 residential units within the span of two years.

Another 1,800 residential units will be added, including various amenities such as a gym, a sports center, arts and crafts studios, karaoke or music rooms, function rooms, library and bars and restaurants.

The plan to create residential areas is part of Miyamoto’s proposal for Japanese retirees after a market study showed that Japan’s elderly care businesses rose to a whopping $252-billion in 2015. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)

30 January 2017

Promising triathletes shine in Subic

Karen Manayon and Inaki Emil Lorbes topped their respective categories in yesterday’s 2017 National Age Group Triathlon-Subic Bay Freeport race, earning precious qualifying points needed for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Manayon defeated Lauren Plaza at the finish line finishing only seconds ahead (51:54 to 52:02). Nicole Eijansantos landed 3rd with 52:47.

Lorbes was locked in a close fight with Joshua Ramos before emerging victorious at the finish line in the Super Sprint (600M swim, 16K bike, 2.5K run) Male YOG race with a time of 47 minutes and 38 seconds. Ramos finished second in 47:46, followed by Russel Villaraza in 48:43.

Still on the youth triathletes, Andrew Remolino survived a tight race with Julius Constantino in the Sprint Distance (750 M swim – 20 Km bike – 5 Km run) 16-19 male race winning by only 20 second at 1:06:37. At 3rd was Tonito Alejo. The Sprint Distance 16-19 female title went to Jacqui Rosee Lampanero who timed 1:19:45 followed by Marga Delos Reyes and Una Sibayan.

Another highlight was the participation of the national team in the Elite Category (Olympic Distance 1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run) whose members 2015 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Claire Adorna, John Chicano and 2015 SEA Games gold medalist Nikko Huelgas competed with other triathletes aspiring to join their team after doing well in other races (both local and overseas) last year.

Other champions of the race named were Clifford Pusing and Erica Maive Bulatao (Super Sprint), Mark Malolot and Mary Grace Olfindo (Sprint Distance 20-over), Jed Polistico (Standard Male 20-over), Chloe Jane Ong (Standard Female 18-34), Ivan Carapiet (Standard M 30-34), Jet Ramos (Standard M 35-39), Louann Ramos (Standard F 35-39), Rene Tayag and Minnie Beth Tomas (Standard 40-44), Edward Luna (Standard M 45-49), Frank Lacson (Standard M 50-54), Vanj Endaya (Standard F 45-54), Eduardo Francisco (Standard M 55-above), and Kevin Lapena-Patricia Oyson-Juan Paolo Ledesma in the Relay category.

The next race in the 2017 season of the NAGT series will be on March 26 in Cebu. (Manila Times)
Scenes from the 2017 National Age Group Triathlon in Subic Bay

(clockwise from top left): Gerald Anderson; John Leerams Chicano poses with daughter at the finish line; Andrew Remolino; Claire Adorna at the finish line; Jake Cuenca; Nikko Huelgas; group shot with Adorna and Huelgas; young triathletes Karen Manayon, Lauren Plaza and Nicole Eijansantos awarded.

Photos by Alan Mauricio Fabricante 
Awarding photo from Karen Manayon's Facebook page

28 January 2017

SBMA execs, locators tackle freeport issues and concerns

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Martin Diño and Administrator Atty. Wilma Eisma met with freeport investors and stakeholders who raised various issues and concerns during a radio program at Grand Harbor Hotel.

The radio program “Pagawa at Iba pa” was the venue for locators such as Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction – Philippines (HHIC-Phil), Global Terminal and Development, Inc. and other companies to voice out some issues that their companies are currently facing.

One of the issues was the repair of the Balaybay-Subic-Cawag Access Road used by shipbuilding personnel to report for work at the Redondo Shipbuilding Facility of Hanjin.

According to Hanjin Executive Director Pyung Jong Yu, the access road is used by tens of thousands of employees who work at the shipyard.

The road, he said, has been incomplete especially near the Club Morocco Beach Resort and Country Club.

He added that a patch of the road there has been wiped off by recent typhoons and has been a bane for them whenever they have to go to Subic Freeport.

Eisma said that the agency will look into the matter, citing that the local government unit (LGU) governing should help in fixing the access road.

She cited contiguous areas such as Morong must take part in fixing roads that connected their area to the Freeport.

Eisma stated that the SBMA will talk to the LGUs to fix the roads using the revenue shares they get from the agency.

She said that these shares should be utilized to further enhance their areas as part of the development scheme of both the municipality and the Freeport.

Another issue that a locator cited was the Common Use Service Area (CUSA) and the environment and tourism administrative fee (ETAF).

But the administrator pointed out that these fees are necessary in maintaining cleanliness and orderliness inside the Freeport zone. (Jonas Reyes. Manila Bulletin)

SBMA Chairman Martin B. Dino and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma answer queries from Freeport locators, residents and business organizations in an impromptu forum during the anniversary celebration of Paggawa Atbp. radio program of the SBMA Labor Department held at the Grand Harbor Hotel in Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

SBMA expresses keen interest in extending the Freeport fence to contiguous towns

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has expressed its interest in extending the present fenced area to contiguous municipalities based on the provisions of the law.

This was announced to members of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) in a meeting Wednesday (Jan 25) sponsored by the SBMA Labor Department in celebration of the 4th year anniversary of its SBMA-run radio program “Paggawa at iba pa” over 89.5 FM Subic Bay Radio.

SBMA Administrator Atty. Wilma Eisma told Subic-based businessmen that according to the provisions of Republic Act 7227, the law that created the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, “the fenced areas should be extended.”

Section 12 of RA 7227 states Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone consist of the City of Olongapo and the municipality of Subic in Zambales, the lands occupied by the former US Naval Base and its contiguous extensions and within the territorial jurisdiction of the municipalities of Morong and Hermosa in Bataan.

Related to this, in November 2007, Executive Order 675 was issued by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo amending EO 97-A allowing the extension of the secured area of the Subic Bay Special Economic and Freeport Zone (SSEFPZ) to areas within the SSEFPZ but are outside the presently fenced-in former US Naval Base.

Under EO 675, SBMA may declare areas outside the former US Naval Base as “Additional Secured Areas” or “Additional Areas” which may be operated as “Special Economic and Freeport Zone” supervised by SBMA.

Additional Secured Areas and Additional Areas are entitled to all tax, fiscal and other investment incentives (except real estate tax for privately-owned property). However, only secured areas may avail the duty-free privileges.

The declaration may only take effect after a concurrence by a resolution of the concerned Sangguniang Bayan or Panglungsod.

“That’s the dream. Fencing outside the existing fenced areas is difficult but I think it can be done and it should be done,” Eisma said, adding that at the very least, the privileges provided to investors and locators inside the Freeport should be extended.

Eisma encouraged the locators and investors to share inputs or ideas with local government officials in the contiguous municipalities and city in a bid to expand their businesses in their areas. “Because at the end of the day, based on the provisions of the law, those areas or parts of those areas are actually part of the Freeport, she continued.

“It is very important to work with the local government units within the contiguous zone. So, we are now working on that,” she said.

Meanwhile, SBMA Chairman Martin Diño said the SBMA Board of Directors is now doing all the necessary steps to shorten the documentation process for new and renewing businesses in an effort to make Subic “investor and locator friendly.”

In response, SBFCC president Rose Baldeo said the member-locators and investors are with the new management team of SBMA saying the SBFCC is fully supporting the dream of the SBMA officials. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

SBMA Chairman Martin B. Dino and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma answer queries from Freeport locators, residents and business organizations in an impromptu forum during the anniversary celebration of Paggawa Atbp. radio program of the SBMA Labor Department held at the Grand Harbor Hotel in Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)