07 October 2012

SBMA defers Subic airport conversion plan

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) had deferred its plan to convert the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) into a recreational theme park.

Some long-term programs adopted by the agency earlier this year are being modified in view of the current economic changes affecting the Freeport, SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said.

SBIA is now being eyed as a forward base for the joint operations of the Philippine Air Force and the United States Air Force Pacific alliance to maintain regional balance in light of territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

The Freeport’s five-year strategic plan (2012-2016) was to convert the 200-hectare SBIA into a tourism hub with amenities such as hotel-casino entertainment complex, science and technology park, duty free shops, convention center, waterfront and luxury villas, family hotels, golf course, business process outsourcing (BPO) city, theme park, yacht club, condominiums and SBMA corporate headquarters.

Amid strong opposition from public and private sectors, the agency said then that it would proceed with the plan to recover the huge financial losses of the Freeport. (CLJD/AMV-PIA3)