04 December 2013

SBMA, San Antonio to jointly develop 10,000-ha. ecozone

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The municipal council of San Antonio, Zambales formally turned over to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) an area covering 10,000 hectares for development into an economic zone.

The turnover was made possible by virtue of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 13-080, which declared over 10,000 hectares of land and water as the San Antonio Economic Development Area, and allowing it for conversion as an additional secured area of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The resolution further declared that the areas of Sitio Silangin, Nagsasa and Talisayin in the Redondo Peninsula be included within the additional area and entitled to the tax- and duty-free privileges of the Subic Freeport.

The resolution was passed by the San Antonio town council on November 19, 2013.

SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia formally received a copy of the resolution from San Antonio municipal mayor Estela Antipolo during a turnover ceremony here on Monday, December 2.

Garcia said that he was pleasantly surprised by the swift action of the San Antonio municipal council in passing the resolution.

He added that the decision is very timely, since the Freeport is already lacking available land area for development.

“Many foreign investors are inquiring, and we are having a hard time to respond to them due to the lack of available land,” Garcia said, pointing out that there are only less than 300 hectares of land available within Subic’s fenced area.

The SBMA official, who just returned from an investment mission in Japan to promote the Subic-Clark Corridor, related that Japanese investors are very interested in doing business in the country.

“So the resolution comes at a very good time because of the high interest of foreign investors in the Philippines in spite of the difficulties that we are having right now because of Yolanda. We should take advantage of this,” Garcia said, stressing that investor confidence in the country remains strong.

Antipolo, for her part, said that the town council came up with the resolution to ensure the progress of San Antonio.

“We are doing this for the welfare of the people, to ensure economic prosperity, increase revenue for the local government, and provide employment opportunities for the people of San Antonio,” she said.

Antipolo assured everyone that the local government of San Antonio will do its part in attracting investors through programs that will promote transparency in government and cut red tape in business transactions.

“On behalf of the people of San Antonio, I look forward to an enhanced cooperation between our offices,” Antipolo told Garcia and other SBMA officials. (FMD/MPD-SBMA)

Mayor Estela Antipolo of San Antonio, Zambales hands over to SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia a copy of the resolution declaring a portion of the town's southern coastal tip as economic development zone. The area is being eyed for development by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority under its expansion program. Also in photo are members of the San Antonio town council led by Vice-Mayor Lugil Ragadio and other SBMA officers.