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Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (MPD-SBMA)


16 November 2017

LOOK: More scenes from the month-long celebration of SBMA's 25th Anniversary

Runners take on various hues at the start of the “Color Run”, one of the more colorful activities in the run-up to the 25th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority on Nov. 24.

Workers and residents in the Subic Bay Freeport participate in a Zumba session along the Waterfront Road in the Subic Bay Freeport, as part of the program in the run-up to the 25thFounding Anniversary Celebration of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority on Nov. 24.

Visitors take photographs of various military aircraft on display at the Subic Bay International Airport in the run-up to the 25th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority on Nov. 24.


Philippines’ biggest national flag to be hoisted permanently in Subic Bay

Local visitors and tourists alike can now enjoy the majestic view of Subic Bay with the dignified Philippine national flag flying on its pole 24-hours a day, including weekends.

This developed following the amendment of Republic Act No. 8491, also known as “The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines,” to designate the Subic Bay Freeport Zone as a place where the Philippine flag should be permanently hoisted.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said that she has received from Executive Director Ludovico Badoy of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) a copy of NHCP Board Resolution No. 8, s. 2017, which amended Section 19 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8491.

“This allows us to fly the Philippine flag 24 hours a day, and every day of the week,” Eisma said. “And this is an honor we gladly receive, and a matter of deep pride for the SBMA,” she added.

Eisma said that as the SBMA is holding a month-long celebration for its 25th year anniversary that will culminate on November 24, the Philippine flag would again be at the center of the celebration because most of the activities are held in front of the SBMA administration building where the huge flag is located.

She added that a plaque from the NHCP attesting to the agency’s privilege to continuously fly the Philippine flag will be installed on the base of the flagpole fronting the SBMA office along the Waterfront Road here.

In June this year, SBMA Deputy Administrator for Administration Ruel John Kabigting wrote the NHCP regarding the SBMA’s intention to keep the Philippine flag, the biggest in the country, constantly flying, even during weekends and holidays.

“We wanted to give thousands of tourists who come to Subic Freeport the opportunity to behold and pay homage to the Philippine flag,” Kabigting said.

He noted that Philippine flag at the SBMA office is 44 feet long and 22 feet wide, and because it is flown atop a 120-feet high flagpole, is highly visible from many points in the Freeport.

“However, it is pitiful that visitors coming during weekends only see the flagpole without the huge Philippine flag flying at its top,” Kabigting said.

Kabigting said that flying the biggest Philippine flag in the country is a matter of pride and honor for every Filipino, “especially at this time when our sovereignty, territorial and exclusive economic rights are being challenged in the West Philippine Sea, and most recently the rebellion in the Marawi City.”

According to SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Public Works Marcelino Sanqui, the flagpole upon which the biggest Philippine flag is hoisted also has historical symbolism.

He said the 94 feet in its total height of 120 feet stands for the 94 years of American occupation of Subic Bay; the next 18 feet for the heads of states who attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference in Subic in 1996; and the remaining eight feet for the 8,000 volunteers who helped preserve Subic Bay facilities when the United States Navy withdrew in 1992.

Sanqui, who supervised the erection of the said flagpole in 1997, said the flagpole itself symbolizes national dignity and liberty, volunteerism and malasakit, and progress and development.

“It is dedicated to all volunteers who served and contributed their time, effort and skills to preserve and protect the former US Naval Base, which is now a bustling industrial center and tourism destination,” he added. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


The biggest Philippine flag in the country flies proudly at the SBMA main office in the Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

14 November 2017

Subic Bay named Asia’s ‘Fastest Growing Free Trade Zone’

The Subic Bay Freeport Zone has again gained international attention when it garnered two awards in the International Finance Awards 2017 given out by the London-based International Finance Magazine (IFM), a financial market information group.

Under the Financial Awards category, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone was named the “Fastest Growing Free Trade Zone” in Asia while the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) was recognized in the same category for its “Best Social Responsibility Initiative”.

The IFM awards recognize and honor individuals and organisations in the international finance industry that make a significant difference and add value, as well as herald the highest standards of innovation and performance.

Organizers said the IFM awards make a concerted effort to shine the spotlight on organizations in niche segments and those that exhibit brilliance in the unsung corners of the finance industry.
The other winners from the Philippines are: BPI Asset Management, as “Best Asset Manager”; Omnipay, as “Best Payment Solutions Provider”; and RCBC Bankard Services Corporation, “Best Credit Card Offerings”.

The awards will be handed out next year during the IFM Annual Award Ceremony scheduled on January 26 in Singapore.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma said it is “both an honor and privilege to be counted among IFM’s roster of excellence.”

“These awards, which come on the eve of SBMA’s 25th year anniversary, inspire us not only to celebrate our past but more importantly, to forge our country’s future for the sake of our children and future generations by continuing to make a difference and adding value to Filipino lives,” she added.

Subic Bay’s first award recognized its emergence as a flagship of the Philippine economy and a catalyst of growth in the region.

To date, the Subic Bay Freeport has a total of more than 126,000 workers employed by a total of 2,897 companies variously engaged in shipbuilding and other marine-related business, tourism, ICT, manufacturing, and services. With committed investments surpassing the $1.4-billion mark in the first quarter of this year, SBMA officials expect Subic to make more significant strides in the Philippine economy in the coming years.

The second award cited the SBMA for identifying the social needs of the indigenous Ayta community in the Subic Freeport area and taking the initiative to positively impact the social status, earning potential and access to services of the members of the tribe.

Last week, the Subic Bay Freeport was also recognized as the Best Sports Tourism Destination of the Year during the Third Sports Industries Awards and Conference Asia held in Bangkok, Thailand.

In the same event, the SBMA won the silver award for Best Sponsorship of a Sport, Team or Event for sponsoring triathlon events here in 2014 to 2016.

Meanwhile, SBMA Chairman Eisma was adjudged among this year’s winners in the search for the “100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World”, which recognizes Filipino women who are influencing the face of leadership in the global workplace.

Eisma received the award during the 14th Filipina Leadership Global Summit scheduled on October 25-29 in Toronto, Canada. (JRR)


[1] Fastest Growing Free Trade Zone in Asia award

[2] Best Social Responsibility Initiative award

10 November 2017

Subic Freeport wins ‘Best Sports Tourism Destination in Asia’ award

This premier free port reaped the highest recognition as Best Sports Tourism Destination of the Year during the Third Sports Industries Awards and Conference Asia (SPIA Asia) held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 7.

With the tourism theme “Funtastic Subic Bay”, Subic bagged the gold award in the sports destination category, followed by “Visit Victoria” of Australia which received silver, and “Amazing Thailand” which won bronze.

Aside from this prestigious award, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) bagged the silver for Best Sponsorship of a Sport, Team or Event (USD$250,000), which was one of the 17 international awards given in the occasion.

The awards were received by SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator Ramon Agregado, SBMA tourism manager Jem Camba, and tourism officer Raquel Junio during the awards ceremony held at the Centara World Convention Center in Bangkok.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma said the award “validates efforts by the agency and the whole Subic Freeport community to elevate the local tourism industry and draw more visitors via sports events.”

“It also speaks well of the natural drawing power of Subic’s unspoiled environment combined with modern amenities that visitors find very appealing,” Eisma added.

Camba, meanwhile, said the award stands as an accomplishment for “Team Subic Bay” because Subic stakeholders gave their full support and best service for every sporting event held in the Freeport.

She also expressed gratitude to the Department of Tourism in Region 3 (DoT-3) and DoT-3 Dir. Ronnie Tiotuico for being supportive of Subic’s efforts to become the sporting capital of the Philippines.

Camba also explained that the SBMA received the Best Sponsorship recognition for sponsoring triathlon events here in 2014 to 2016.

Industry records show that the Subic Bay Freeport earned a ranking of 85.80 percent in the 2015 Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship (APAC) overall satisfaction scores. The race ranking was just .09 percent shy of the global standard’s 85.89 percent and pushed Subic’s ranking above the Asia-Pacific standard of 83.95 percent.

The 2015 Ironman 70.3 APAC overall satisfaction scores placed Subic, along with Cairns in Queensland, Australia, at number six among the best triathlon sites in the Asia Pacific Championship series.

The list was topped in 2016 by Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia with a satisfaction rating of 90.20 percent. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)


SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator Ramon Agregado (left), Tourism Manager Jem Camba (2nd left) and Tourism officer Raquel Junio (right) pose with SPIA Asia Judge Cynthia Carreon after receiving two prestigious awards: gold for Best Sports Tourism Destination in Asia, and silver for Best Sponsorship of a Sport, Team or Event (USD$250,000).

SBMA kicks off 25th year anniversary celebration

A helicopter dropping confetti from the air and tugboats giving water salute highlighted the opening of the month-long celebration for the 25th founding anniversary of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority on Monday.

Led by senior officials of the agency, the program officially started with a flag-raising ceremony that was followed by a motorcade from the SBMA administration building to the Harbor Point Ayala Mall where a job fair and a regional oratorical competition were held.

In his message during the opening program, SBMA Director Tomas Lahom III noted that the dream of transforming the former US Naval Base into a bustling free port like Singapore and Hong Kong has not yet been fully realized.

“Fortunately, the SBMA now has a chairman and administrator in the person of Atty. Wilma Eisma whose vision is that the agency can reach its target by the year 2022,” Lahom added. “So, perhaps, we should now aim to do in five years what we have thus failed to do in 25 years — the full development of Subic Bay.”

Meanwhile, SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Operations and 25th Anniversary Committee Chairperson Marcelino Sanqui said the theme “SBMA @25 Celebrating the Past, Forging the Nation’s Future” was chosen for the occasion in recognition of the historical role that the Subic agency has played in the economic growth of the country.

Sanqui pointed out that Subic literally rose from the ashes of the Mount Pinatubo eruption and the subsequent pullout of the US Navy in 1991 to become the premier free port in the country, and a model for military base conversion in the world. “If only for this, the SBMA has a very rich history worth remembering,” he added.

Under the month-long celebration, the SBMA has scheduled various events on the following dates: Nov. 11, 5:30 a.m. onwards — Color Run, Zumba Party, Water Salute (Waterfront Road); PAF Static Aircraft Display (Subic Bay International Airport);

Nov. 18, 7:30 a.m. onwards — SBMA LED Brass Band Exhibition, Games (Remy Field); SBMA’s Got Talent (Subic Gym); and Lighting of Christmas Tree (Boardwalk Event Center); Nov. 24, 8:00 a.m. onwards — Ecumenical Mass, Awarding of Pioneer Investors and Employees, Air Show, Water Salute (Bldg. 229/Waterfront Road); PMMA Silent Drill, PAF Band Drill (Mini Golf Open Field); Opening of Photo Exhibit and Memorabilia Display, Unveiling of New Museum (Harbor Point Ayala Malls); Float and Foot Parade (Waterfront Road); and Tribute to Volunteers, Fireworks Display (Volunteers Shrine).

Meanwhile, on Nov. 24 to 26, there will be the Subic Bay Grand Sale at the Remy Field and all tourism establishments in the Freeport, which shall also be the venue for the nighttime Entertainment Bazaar and Food Festival. The participating hotels, restaurants, theme parks, and shops will offer discounted prices on products and services, with booths offering items from Subic locators and the surrounding communities.

The SBMA will also sponsor a music festival with the country's top DJs performing at the Remy Field for two nights.

The anniversary program will be capped by the Subic Pride Parade at 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 26 from the Magsaysay Gate to the Boardwalk Event Center. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

(clockwise from left) 

[1-2] SBMA officials led by Directors Tomas Lahom III, Stefani SaƱo and Julius Escalona lead the raising of the Philippine flag at the kick-off of the SBMA 25th Anniversary celebration on Monday, Nov. 6. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[3] Tugboats execute a water salute near the Alava Pier during the kick-off of the SBMA 25th Anniversary celebration on Monday, Nov. 6. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[4] SBMA vehicles and a motorbike group join a motorcade during the kick-off of the SBMA 25th Anniversary celebration on Monday, Nov. 6. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

SBMA shelves Redondo industrial estate project

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has temporarily set aside the development program for the Redondo Peninsula following the collapse of an agreement with a firm that proposed the construction of an industrial estate and solar farm in the area.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the agency’s Board of Directors has decided to take a step back and called for the development of a master plan for the entire Redondo Peninsula before opening it up again to investors.

“We’re basically back to square one, because the project proponent was not able to honor the commitments under its very own proposal,” Eisma said.

“The SBMA is still open to receiving proposals though, should these be consistent with the SBMA’s objective of developing Redondo into an industrial and maritime hub,” she added.

The SBMA Board of Directors had earlier revoked the lease and development agreement (LDA) with Dynamic Konstruk International Eco Builders Corp. (DKIEBC), invoking an automatic revocation clause under the agreement in case the proponent did not meet its obligations.

Eisma said that despite several extensions given by SBMA, DKIEBC still failed to deliver the required advance rentals and security deposit, thus leaving the Subic agency with no other recourse but to revoke the contract.

According to SBMA records, Dynamic Konstruk initially proposed in May 2016 to develop 982 hectares of land at the Redondo Peninsula, which also hosts the Hanjin shipyard and the coal-fired thermal plant project of Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc.

Calling the project “Redondo 200MW Solar Farm and Eco Dynamic Industrial City”, DKIEBC said it will devote 400 hectares of the project site to a solar-power generation farm and 582 hectares to an industrial hub.

During negotiations for the project’s 50-year lease, however, it became apparent that DKIEBC, a certified “A” PCAB licensee, as well as its partners, lacked adequate experience in solar power generation. It also seemed not to have enough funding to back up its US$798-million investment commitment.

Eisma said the SBMA Board required a P2.2-billion paid-up capital, and DKIEBC made a counter-offer to pay upfront the amount of P472 million, which is equivalent to 50 percent of its rental and security deposits.

“When DKIEBC also failed to honor this commitment, the project was considered revoked pursuant to a resolution of the SBMA Board,” Eisma added.

As of now, the SBMA has stopped dealing with the company on the aborted project. It had also warned the public on reports that some parties are still seeking investors to fund the project despite official revocation by the agency.

“This is already a closed issue. Anybody seeking funds for the Redondo industrial city and solar farm project is probably doing some scam operation, so we urge everyone to beware,” Eisma concluded. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)


Perspective of the supposed development project proposed by Dynamic Konstruct at the Redondo Peninsula in Subic Bay Freport.

02 November 2017

LOOK: Giant human pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness

Factory workers, government employees, students, medical practitioners and members of community advocacy groups form a giant human pink ribbon at the Remy Field of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone Friday afternoon (Oct. 27, 2017) to promote breast cancer awareness.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is marked in countries worldwide every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

LOOK: Marawi peacekeepers in Subic for fun run

Troopers from the Subic-based 2nd Battalion of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) attend the “Run for Marawi Peacekeepers” fun run held on Friday (Oct. 27, 2017) at the Remy Field of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The 42-man PNP-SAF contingent (shown here being welcomed by Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino) served in the frontline during the battle against the ISIS-inspired Maute terror group in Marawi City. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)