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26 September 2017

Malacañang appoints Eisma SBMA chair and administrator

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (September 25, 2017) appointed SBMA Administrator Wilma T. Eisma Chairperson and Administrator of the Subic authority for a term expiring on June 30, 2022.

Eisma’s new appointment was made under Executive Order (EO) No. 42, which was signed by the President also on Monday.



The new EO expressly repealed EO No. 340 signed in 2004 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which essentially split the powers and duties of the highest position in the Subic Agency.

Section 3 of EO 42 provides for the appointment by the President of “the Administrator of the SBMA, who shall be the ex-officio Chairman of the SBMA Board.”

Eisma, a lawyer and former SBMA volunteer, was appointed SBMA administrator in December 2016, two months after Malacañang named former Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) official Martin Diño as chairman of the Subic Agency.

However, the two officials had been at odds since May this year following Diño’s issuance of an administrative order that interfered and encroached upon the duties of the administrator, as well as on the oversight functions of the SBMA Board of Directors.

Diño had similarly quarreled with another SBMA official whom Malacañang designated as OIC-Administrator before Eisma took over.

This conflict sparked an investigation by the House of Representative on EO 340, with the lawmakers pointing out that the SBMA Administrator was originally the sole appointee under RA 7227.

Last month, in a hearing conducted by the House Committee on Bases Conversion, Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Menardo Guevarra said they have recommended to President Duterte the repeal of EO 340 to ease the tension in SBMA, hence the issuance of EO 42.

The new EO also noted that EO 340 “has created confusion with regard to the scope of authority, powers, functions and duties of the Chairman of the SBMA Board and the Administrator of the SBMA that has adversely affected the operations of the SBMA, as well as the numerous investors and locators” in the Subic Bay Freeport.

The Palace decision to keep just one top SBMA official was immediately hailed by Subic investors, community leaders and SBMA employees, who had earlier urged Malacañang to resolve the conflict and prevent further confusion among Subic stakeholders.

Business locators in Subic, as well as local government units in Zambales and Bataan, had earlier urged Malacañang to intervene in the conflict, and called for the appointment of a capable administrator-chairman to head the SBMA. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)

PHOTO:

SBMA Chairperson and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma takes her oath of office before Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra in Malacañang Palace on Tuesday, September 26.

21 September 2017

Senate panel OKs proposed 2018 budgets of BCDA, SBMA

The Senate finance subcommittee approved on Tuesday the proposed 2018 budgets of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

During the deliberations, BCDA president and chief executive officer Vivencio Dizon bared their priority projects which include the expansion of Clark International Airport, construction of the New Clark City, BGC-NAIA Bus Rapid Transit System, and the Subic-Clark Cargo Railway.



SBMA Administrator and CEO Atty. Wilma Eisma, for her part, said they are proposing for a P3.548 billion budget for 2018.

Eisma said that they are eyeing to build an SBMA Corporate Center with a total estimated cost of P3.2 billion.

Meanwhile, the following are the proposed projects of SBMA with its estimated cost:

• New Magsaysay bridge - P390,780,000

• Piers And wharves rehabilitation - P2,459,610,000

• Port dredging - P83,389,950

• Building of SBMA/Olongapo Museum - P80,000,000

• Continuous upgrading of the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) Facilities - P45,400,000

• Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) concreting And repair of roads - P489,300,000

The BCDA is seeking a P6.686 billion budget for 2018, of which P4.017 billion will be allotted for the construction of the New Clark city Access Road.

The New Clark City, according to Dizon, is a 120-hectare one-stop shop land which will be located at the Central Business District.

A 46-hectare Philippine Sports City includes facilities such as athletics and outdoor football stadium, aquatics center and athlete's village that will be built within the proposed New Clark City.

Dizon emphasized the need for the national government to provide funding for the construction of roads, as the Philippines will be hosting the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019.

He said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has chosen New Clark City as one of the venues for the SEA Games.

Finance subcommittee F chaired by Senator JV Ejercito, who saw "very big potential" over the proposed projects of BCDA, suggested that the agency should also come up with a master plan that will last for at least 20 to 50 years.

"Instead of the 3-year and 6-year plan that based on the political term. Kasi ganon ang nangyari sa atin, wala tayong long term plans so I think this is very exciting and Clark will play a big role in decongesting Metro Manila and other cities," Ejercito said.

Dizon, for his part, assured that they have a masterplan that is up until 2065.

Ejercito has also suggested that SBMA should create a long-term master plan.

Ejercito has approved the proposed budget of BCDA and SBMA which will be moved to the Senate plenary for final approval. (RSJ, GMA News)

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/626412/senate-panel-oks-proposed-2018-budgets-of-bcda-sbma/story/

Subic eyeing to be port of choice for North and Central Luzon

With lower rates, faster turnaround time, and 15 piers and wharves to choose from, the Subic Bay Freeport is angling to be the port of choice for shippers and port users in Northern and Central Luzon today.

Atty. Wilma T. Eisma, administrator and chief executive officer of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said during the Northern Luzon Investors’ Conference at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel last Thursday that Subic provides the best solution in terms of the ease and cost of doing shipping and related maritime business.



Eisma told business leaders and prospective investors in the region during the conference that along with its strategic location, the country’s premier free port provides 10 built-in advantages that could spell the difference for players in the shipping business,” Eisma told business leaders and prospective investors in the region during the conference.

She added that Subic’s has 10 plus factors that make for successful shipping operations: faster turnaround time, absence of red tape, short processing time, absence of congestion, absence of traffic, immediate docking upon vessel arrival, no truck ban, lower port tariff, higher efficiency, and ISO quality service.

To start with, the Subic Freeport has a total of 15 piers and wharves that can support the transhipment of a wide range of cargoes. Eisma said the two wharves in Subic’s former Ship Repair Facility are ideal for passenger ships, as well as military vessels because they are located near the Central Business District, while the two other piers further inside the facility would be ideal for repair and boat services.

On the other hand, the two jetties at the former Naval Supply Depot are perfect for break-bulk cargoes and shipments bound for Subic’s industrial parks and manufacturing centers in Central and Northern Luzon, while the three docks at the Boton Logistics Center would best be suited for petroleum products.

Those at Cubi Point, meanwhile, could accommodate containerized cargo, as well as grains and fertilizer, while the single landings at Nabasan, Camayan and Grande could be used for specialized purposes, including tourism.

- more -
Eisma also pointed out that Subic is already the port of choice for Hanjin, the fourth largest shipbuilder in the world; China’s Jovo Group, which operates the country’s first ship-to-ship transfer of liquefied petroleum gas; as well as Subic Bay Int’l Terminal Corp., an affiliate of the International Container Terminal Services Inc., which is one of the five major maritime terminal operators in the world.

“We have also attracted nine container shipping lines that now connect Subic Bay to major commercial centers in the United States, Europe, Middle East, and Southeast Asia, and this is because we have some of the lowest rates in stevedoring and arrastre, as well as export, import and transshipment fees,” Eisma said.

She cited as an example Subic’s stevedoring charges for a loaded 40-footer container that is only $94.33, while that for Manila goes for $137.87 excluding VAT, or a difference of $43.54 or 31.58%. On the other hand, Subic’s arrastre rates for the import of a 40-footer container is just P4,787.05, while that for Manila is pegged at P9,235.00 excluding VAT, or a difference of P4,447.95 (48.16%).

As a center for maritime operations, Subic also offers key port services like cargo handling, pilot and tugboat services, ship chandling, bunkering and tendering, ship agents, onboard repair, cargo survey, underwater survey, and vessel lay-up and line handling. It likewise provides facilities for fuel storage and handling, grains storage, maritime training, ship repair, warehousing, and vessel lay-up.

Eisma also said that because the Port of Subic is uniquely accessible by sea, land and air, more and more manufacturers and export producers, as well as importers in Luzon are shipping through this free port.

Among the top exporters using the Port of Subic now are Yokohama Tires Phils., which is located at the Clark Freeport; Juken Sangyo (Subic), Petron Freeport Corp. (Bataan), HLD Clark Steel (Clark), Tong Lung Phil Metal Industry (Subic), Johnson Control-Hitachi (Subic), Limech Manufacturing and Trading (Subic), Orica Phils. Inc. (Bataan and Subic), Hitachi Terminal Mechatronics (Subic), and Philip Morris Int’l (Subic).

On the other hand, the top 10 importers through the Port of Subic are: Foton Motors Phils (Subic), Yokohama Tires Phils (Clark), TIPCO (Pampanga), Nestle Phils (Bulacan), San Miguel Brewery (Pampanga), United Auctioneers Inc. (Subic), Tong Lung Phil Metal Industry (Subic), Masinloc Power Plant (Subic), HHIC-Phils Inc. (Subic), and Transam Waste and Rags (Clark).

In the same occasion, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade spoke on the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program for Subic and Clark, while Bases Conversion and Development Authority President Vivencio Dizon discussed the proposed Clark Green City, among other speakers.

On the other hand, Roberto Locsin, SBITC president and general manager, talked about Subic Port and how it facilitates trade for Northern Luzon shippers. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)

PHOTO:
Aerial view of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone with its container terminals, piers and warehouse facilities.

New firm takes over Lyceum Subic

A new company has taken over the operations of Lyceum of Subic Bay Inc. (LSBI), allowing the debt-ridden firm to pay more than P31 million in overdue rentals and other arrears to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and to honor its development commitments for its two campuses here.

SBMA Administrator and CEO Wilma T. Eisma said the SBMA, through a board resolution, has approved the reassignment of LSBI’s leasehold rights to Premium Technical Training and Facilities Inc. (PTTFI), which assumed the financial and developmental obligations of the original lessee.



The PTTFI is 30-percent owned by LSBI.

“As far as we can see, this is a win-win solution to a problem that has been hounding the SBMA since October 2015, when it preterminated the contract of Global Daeil, over the Cubi property,” Eisma said.

Eisma added the SBMA repossessed the property in January last year and later awarded it to Lyceum, which had the best business model.

“Unfortunately, Lyceum was not able to operate immediately and market the business properly because of some issue with the previous occupant, so we had a problem that compounded itself over time,” she said.

Eisma added the compromise agreement was made possible with the withdrawal by LSBI from coverage of the SBMA policy-granting educational institutions a 75-percent discount on rentals, which are to be plowed back to scholarship programs and facilities improvement.

Under the new agreement, PTTFI took over the 34,196-square-meter Lyceum campus at Subic’s Cubi-Triboa District, which had P23 million in rentals and utility fees arrears, as well as P16.68 million in unpaid accounts left by its previous operator, Global Daeil Subic Inc.

The deal also required LSBI to pay its debts for the Lyceum campus at Subic’s central business district (CBD).

The new operator initially paid the SBMA P31 million for the arrears, and issued checks to cover outstanding obligations for both the Cubic and CBD campuses.

Beatrix Anagaran, manager of the SBMA General Business and Investment Department, said the amended lease and development agreement for PTTFI was “overwhelmingly beneficial to the SBMA”, as it called for an increase in monthly rent from the discounted rate of P1.22 million to the appraised-value rate of P4 million.

The agreement also provided for an increase in escalation rate from 2 percent per annum starting on the third year to 6 percent per annum starting the second year.

Anagaran said upon taking over the Cubi property, Premium Technical, likewise, committed to pay the P16-million debt of Global Daeil within a three-year amortization period, and retained LSBI’s committed investment of P50 million to P100 million, a committed employment of 180 workers, a development commitment of P10 million to P20 million, and the provision of 36 scholarship grants per year.

She said the new operator also committed to put up a business process outsourcing (BPO) facility at the Cubi campus, as well as a modern training laboratory. (Henry Empeño, BusinessMirror)

http://businessmirror.com.ph/new-firm-takes-over-lyceum-subic/

LOOK: International Coastal Cleanup in Subic Bay Freeport

Freeport locators, residents and employees take part in the annual International Coastal Clean-up on Saturday (September 16) along the Waterfront area of the Subic Bay Freeport, in consonance with millions of other volunteers in the global effort to protect the sea and coastal areas.



SBMA Administrator and CEO Wilma T. Eisma joins Freeport locators, residents and employees in cleaning up the Waterfront area of the Subic Bay Freeport during the 32nd edition of the annual International Coastal Clean-up, a global initiative to protect the sea and coastal areas.



Volunteer workers from a Freeport company in the Subic Bay Freeport sort trash they collected  along the Waterfront area of the Subic Bay Freeport on Saturday during the International Coastal Clean-up, a global initiative to protect the sea and coastal areas.

All photos by Jun Dumaguing, MPD-SBMA

07 September 2017

Olongapo athletes bring home gold, silver medals in SEA games

Three Olongapo athletes shone and brought pride to the city during the recently finished South East Asian Games held in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Samuel “Butch’ Morrison, a native of Barangay Sta. Rita in this city, kicked his way to the finals to take home the gold in the Men’s Taekwando, while Eric Cray raced his way to take the gold in the 400-meter hurdles and also took the silver in the 100-meter event. Joining the two Batang Gapo is John Leerams Chicano, a known triathlete in the city, who finished the tri-event with a silver medal.


Olongapo city Mayor Rolen Paulino, who is known for his love of sports, have setup up several grassroots programs for local athletes and a yearly free sports clinic ranging from basketball, volleyball and athletics, to gymnastics, taekwando, boxing, swimming and other sports disciplines. His support for athletes competing in the regional, national and international levels has been all out.

The Philippines ended its SEA Games stint with 24 Golds, 33 Silvers and 64 Bronzes.

Meanwhile, another young athlete was awarded two gold medals in the recently concluded 11th World Taekwando Expo held at Taekwandowon Muju in Saouth Korea. Akian Manalad Tuzon, an 8-year-old student from Quiz Bee School also took home cash prize.

Half of his winning cash prize and other assorted sports goods wer donated to the city by the family.

“We are glad and happy that the city fully supports our young athletes and as a gesture to that, we decided to donate 20,000 pesos and other sportswear to the city so these can be used to further support our sport community,” Normal Tuazon, father of Akian, said.

/Olongapo City Public Affairs

Two Gawad Kalasag awards given to Olongapo City

The local government of Olongapo City bagged two top awards during the Regional Gawad Kalasag Award 2017, held in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office Fire Rescue unit placed first as the Best Government Emergency Management Service in the Advance Search and Rescue category while James L Gordon Memorial Hospital won first place as the Best Local Government Hospital emergency preparedness.


No less than Olongapo City Mayor Rolen C. Paulino received the award from Regional Director and RDRRMC Chairperson Edgardo Ollet during the awarding ceremony.

“Olongapo City is known for its best rescue personnel, and this award shows how dedicated our rescue workers are, I am very proud of them and if anyone needs their help I will send them without no hesitation, I am also very proud of our hospital which was also given the award, we have been upgrading not only the equipment’s but also upgrading the skills of the staff, state of the art equipment will be of no use if our hospital staff has little knowledge.” Paulino said.

Angie Layug, head of City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said that they will pursue to have a command center this year. The soon to be rise Office of DRRMO with the command center will be built near SM and also a mobile command center will be placed on their current office at Transcon in Old Cabalan.



Paulino added that the city is on the process of building a new building for the City Risk Reduction Management Office which will house a new command center for monitoring which will connect all responders, including traffic, the local police, barangay and others. It will also house personnel from the said office, equipment and other essentials for quick response in emergency situations.

Three schools from the city also participated in the recent Gawad Kalasag and was given a certification by the award given body for their participation, namely Mabayuan National High School, Barretto National high School and Kalalake National High School for actively participating in the19thGawad KALASAG Regional Awards.

Gawad KALASAG or Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galingang Kaligtasan is a yearly awarding event of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council to recognize outstanding performances of Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMCs), Barangay (BDRRMCs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), educational institutions including Early Learning Centers (ELCs) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Government Emergency Management or GEM (Basic and Advance), Hospitals, Volunteer Organizations and, Private (Business/Corporate) Organizations.

PHOTOS:

[1] Mayor Rolen Paulino, Mr. Angie Layug (DRRMO) in the middle, together with Olongapo City Fire Rescue.

[2] Olongapo City Local Government Officials—Former Councilor Edwin Piano (from left), Leonila Jimenez ( City Tourism Office), Tony Karr Balde (CPDO), Mayor Rolen Paulino, City Administrator Mamerto Malabute, Engr. Ed Santos, Lito Majarucon (GSO), Loreli Ricasa ( ESMO), Jun Pascua (CSWDO), Dr. Arturo Mendoza( JLGMH), Dr. Jewel Manuel (JLGMH), Dr. Roderick Bustamante (JLGMH).

/Olongapo City Public Affairs

05 September 2017

SBMA prepares for 25th founding anniversary

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is preparing for a grand celebration this year in connection with its silver anniversary this coming November.

According to SBMA Administrator & CEO Wilma T. Eisma, agency officials have approved a month-long schedule of activities to mark the organization’s 25th year of existence and the establishment of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, now considered as one of the best success stories of military base conversion in the world.



“Turning 25 is a very special milestone, and so we are going for some very special program for the SBMA,” said Eisma, an Olongapo City native who was among the legendary volunteers that helped protect and preserve Subic Bay facilities after the U.S. Navy withdrew its forces here in 1992.

“Subic has come a very long way—thanks to the sacrifice and hard work of a lot of people over the years, and honoring these people for what they did will be a big part of the celebration,” she added.

PAST REVISITED

The celebration will carry the theme “SBMA at 25: Celebrating the Past, Forging the Nation’s Future.”

Under a program prepared by the SBMA 25th Anniversary Celebration Committee, activities will start on November 6 with a flag-raising ceremony at Bldg. 229, which is the SBMA main office, followed by a motorcade around Subic’s Central Business District.

All the while, some aircraft will undertake streamer and confetti drops, while boats will execute water cannon salutes at the bay.

Also on the first day of celebration, the SBMA Labor Department, in collaboration with registered business locators in the Subic Bay Freeport, will hold a job fair to match job-seekers with prospective employers.

SPORTS SPECTACULARS

The next event in the anniversary program will be a fun run in the morning of November 11, a Saturday. With 2-km, 5-km and 25-km categories, this sports spectacular will kick off at the Remy Field and progress along the length of Waterfront Road.

Nearby, some water cannon salutes will again take place on the bay, while the Philippine Air Force (PAF) makes some aircraft formation and skydiving display overhead.

The PAF will also present a static aircraft display at the Subic Bay International Airport.

On November 18, also a Saturday, Remy Field will be the venue for several events, including the SBMA Family Day that will feature fun games like the Amazing Race, giant volleyball, and “Laro ng Lahi.” The latter will include traditional Filipino games like “kadang-kadang”, catching the greasy pig, and “patintero.”

At 2:00 p.m., the talent show “SBMA Got Talent” will start at the Subic Gym, to be followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Boardwalk Park.

Meanwhile, there will be a three-day “Subic Bay Grand Sale” at Remy Field and all tourism establishments in Subic from Nov. 24 to 26.

This will include night bazaar and food festivals, night entertainment, discount sales from tourism stakeholders, and fireworks display.

FINALE

On Nov. 24, which marks the actual turnover of Subic Bay from the U.S. Navy to the Philippine government, the activities will start at 8:00 in the morning with an ecumenical mass in front of Bldg. 229.

This will be followed by an awarding ceremony to recognize pioneer investor companies, as well as pioneer SBMA employees. The awardees will also be honored with aerial and water salutes.

The morning program will be capped by a silent drill demonstration by cadets of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, and by performances from the SBMA Law Enforcement Department brass band and the Philippine Air Force band.

In the afternoon, a new museum featuring photo exhibits and memorabilia displays will open at the Harbor Point mall. The museum displays will be available for public viewing until Nov. 26.

At 3:00 p.m., a float and foot parade involving representatives from local government units will start at the Waterfront Road.

The parade will end at the Volunteers’ Shrine where the unveiling of commemorative items and a tribute to volunteers will take place. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)

Gordon bats for Central Luzon investment corridor

Senator Richard Gordon has called on the Subic Bay Freeport business community to support his proposal to establish an investment corridor in Central Luzon that will encourage more business and livelihood activities and spur further development in the area.

Speaking during the North Luzon Business Conference here last week, Gordon said he has filed Senate Bill No. 1325, or “An Act Creating the Regional Investment and Infrastructure Corporation of Central Luzon,” to facilitate the creation of an investment corridor in the region.



The senator explained that the proposed Regional Investment and Infrastructure Corporation (RIIC) aims to attract more foreign investors by way of providing for a road network system that will interconnect airports and seaports in Luzon.

He added that the proposed legislation will provide tax incentives for companies and will utilize the area to help ease the traffic currently weighing down the Metro Manila area. This will further ease the congestion of the seaports and airports in Manila, he said.

Gordon, who served as the first chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), also pointed out that Central Luzon is the only region in the country that has three airports like New York, referring to Manila, Clark and Subic.

“Central Luzon also has three seaports—Subic, Mariveles and Manila, and four if we include Batangas— which are complemented by a network of highways,” said Gordon.

He said the country needs to optimize the use of its infrastructures and pointed out that the Central Luzon area is connected by major highways: the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), and the Olongapo-Gapan Highway.

Aside from having these facilities, Central Luzon is also connected to various industrial zones managd by the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

In response, business leaders from the Metro Olongapo Chamber of Commerce Inc. (MOCCI), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and other business groups attending the conference pledged their support to Gordon’s bill.

Gordon’s bill had earlier found resonance during the Philippine Investment Promotion Plan (PIPP) Investment Roadshow to Taiwan, when SBMA Administrator & CEO Wilma Eisma urged businessmen in Taipei and Taichung City to consider the so-called Central Luzon Manufacturing and Logistics Zone (CMLZ) as a prime investment destination.

Eisma said that the CMLZ, which is composed of Clark Freeport, Subic Bay Freeport, and the Freeport Area of Bataan, has strategic location, ample space for manufacturing, developed infrastructure support, and generous tax and fiscal incentives.

Moreover, the area has ample supply of talented and skilled labor, service utilities for industries and businesses, secured corridor without traffic congestion, and enviable live-work-play environment, Eisma added.

Eisma also said that Central Luzon is perfect for targeted key industries like electronics, automotive parts and aerospace products for Clark; shipbuilding and maritime industries, including cruise ships for Subic; and high-end garments manufacturing for Bataan. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)

PHOTO: 

Sen. Richard Gordon explains his bill proposing for the creation of the Central Luzon Regional Investment and Infrastructure Corporation during a business forum in the Subic Bay Freeport (AMD/MPD-SBMA)