12 February 2010

Subic Freeport eyes growing retirement market

The retirement-tourism industry in this free port is expected to take off this year, as government agencies and the business community here teamed up to come up with a more aggressive marketing program.

Eyeing the development of Subic Bay as a prime retirement facility, the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) signed a memorandum of agreement with the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) for more effective promotion in the world market.

The agreement was signed the other day by PRA chairman Edgar Aglipay, SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga, SBMA administrator Armand Arreza, and SBFCC president Danny Piano at the SBMA Board Room.

The three parties agreed to integrate their marketing and promotional activities, including information dissemination, public relations, special events, and other retiree-related tourism programs to maximize Subic’s market reach.

Each party also committed to act as an advocate for the design and development of new products and investment opportunities for foreign retirees and tourists, thereby enhancing retiree-related sites, facilities, and services through tourism planning and product development.

“Only through strong partnerships and consolidation of individual corporate goals into one, could the retirement industry in Subic match up with those in the neighboring countries of Asia,” Aglipay said.

Aglipay reiterated that the Philippines has almost all the advantages — climate, manpower, culture and services — to outmatch other Asian nations in the retirement business, especially since Filipinos are known worldwide for being highly efficient and professional.

Salonga, meanwhile, noted that the agreement “was very timely, since the number of foreign retirees seeking a safer and more comfortable place to live in is increasing.”

A large number of these retirees visiting Subic Bay have settled here for a time, he added.

Arreza said that the Subic Bay Freeport already has world-class retirement facilities, including the Subic Holiday Villas, which is described as a modern leisure and retirement village that can accommodate up to 500 retirees, plus their families.

Other similar facilities in Subic include the Subic Holiday Mansion, the Tropical Paradise Retirement Village, Subic Heights at the Upper Mau Area, Subic Bay Leisure and Resorts at the Boton Area, the Subic Executive Loft Condominium, and Poco A Poco at the Subic Commercial Park.

These world-class retirement communities in the Subic Bay area can accommodate retirees from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other foreign countries, Arreza added. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

PHOTO: Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Feliciano Salonga and Philippine Retirement Authority Chairman Edgar Aglipay shake hands after signing an agreement to promote Subic Bay as a retirement destination. With them are (from left): Susan Dudley, of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, and SBFCC President Danny Piano.