21 March 2018

SBMA cites robust financial performance

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) reported a steady growth in income and a strong performance in key financial operations last year, as it set into motion a more aggressive program in investment generation, project expansion and job creation.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said in her State of the Freeport Address (SOFA) on Tuesday that the Subic agency recorded a 34 percent increase in net income last year, which grew to more than P91 million compared to P68 million in 2016.

She added that the SBMA posted total revenue of P3.08 billion in 2017, compared to P2.95 billion in 2016, for a positive variance of 4 percent; and showed an increase of 8 percent in operating income, which rose from P1.44 billion in 2016 to P1.55 billion in 2017.

At the same time, the agency’s cash and investments grew by 4 percent to P4.43 billion, compared to P4.24 billion in 2016, while total debt went down by 5 percent from P6.55 billion in 2016 to P6.2 billion last year.

Financial Success

“These are indicators of robust financial health,” Eisma said, as she went on to cite similar accomplishments in employment, revenue sources, and contributions to the national economy. “If this is not success, then I don’t know what is,” she added.

Eisma explained that despite a downturn in committed investments, the SBMA managed to win over 239 new investors last year, compared to just 144 in 2016, for a 66 percent increase. Thus, while committed investments went down to P2.54 billion in 2017 from P6.35 billion in 2016, projected employment still grew to 3,488 from 3,868 in 2016, or just a slight dip of less than 10 percent.

The SBMA chief likewise pointed out that Subic was a runaway winner last year in terms of project expansion by existing business locators with 63 expansion projects put up, compared to 37 in 2016. These expansions gave Subic an additional P1.09 billion in committed investments, which translated to a huge 203 percent increase over the P36 million recorded in 2016.

Revenue Sources

Overall, Eisma said the SBMA earned a total of P3.08 billion in revenues from seven sources: leases, which yielded P1.52 billion; port services, P961 million; regulatory fees, P338 million; common use service area (CUSA) fees, P103 million; tourism, P16 million; environmental and tourism admission fee (ETAF), P10, million; and other revenue sources, P126 million.

She added that the Subic agency was just as successful in its major thrust of job creation, as it facilitated the entry of 15,500 workers into Subic’s active workforce last year, thus increasing the manpower count here by 14 percent, or from 112,600 workers in 2016 to 128,100 in 2017.

The Subic workforce is now comprised of 70,650 workers in the services sector; 33, 593 in shipbuilding; 15,303 in manufacturing; and 8,621 in construction.

Economic Contribution

Meanwhile, the SBMA provided the national economy with a total of P19.6 billion in various contributions, an amount that was 14 percent higher than the total contributions in 2016.

These included P16.8 billion in cash collections by the Bureau of Customs, which increased by 11 percent over the 2016 figures; P2.2 billion in taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, an increase of .8 percent; P92 billion in dividends, or a whopping increase of 533 percent; and P.3 billion in shares to local government units, or an 18 percent increase.

Eisma also said that with the increasing number of ship calls, the SBMA recorded total port revenue of P1.2 billion, which represented a 6 percent increase over the P1.13 billion record in 2016.

The Port of Subic also reported $2.3 billion in total export trade value and $1.7 billion in import trade value last year, an increase of 38 percent and 11 percent, respectively, over 2016 figures. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)


‘WE DID IT’- SBMA Chairman Wilma T. Eisma outlines gains made by the Subic agency in her State of the Freeport Address last Tuesday. (AMD-MPD-SBMA)

20 March 2018

Subic among productive freeports in PH

Exports from Subic Freeport rose 89 percent in total value in 2017 from 2016, making Subic one of the most productive freeports in the Philippines.

Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC) said products exported by new customers in 2017 include fashion accessories like bags from Bataan, trucks and agricultural equipment from Subic, grains, feeds, and fertilizer from Bulacan, and electronic parts and general department store merchandise from Clark.

SBITC operates the New Container Terminals (NCT) 1&2 which handle shipments for businesses in Central and Northern Luzon.

Roberto Locsin, SBITC president, said many of SBITC’s customers are manufacturers that import raw materials and export finished goods.

Most of the products are exported to Asia, the United States and Europe.

“We welcome the growing number of local businesses employing our facilities in the Subic Bay International Terminal NCT 1&2,” Locsin said. “We are glad to see that these industries are discovering and taking advantage of Subic Bay as a gateway to the global market,” he added.

Locsin also sees an uptick of industries importing goods for domestic consumption.

“There is a good balance of import and export volume in the Subic terminal of about two exports for every three imports. In the succeeding months, we expect an increase in the import volume of fast-moving cargoes because of improved facilities in the terminal,” Locsin said.

For 2017, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported import growth rate of 10.2 percent and export growth rate of 9.5 percent.

The National Economic and Development Authority continues to push for the implementation of more strategies to promote Philippine products in the global market.

“More initiatives are in the works to attract more firms to avail of our services and make use of our facilities. We will continue to improve and develop our terminals to realize the full potential of Subic Bay.” Locsin said. (Malaya Business Insight)


Cargo unloading at the Container Terminal in Subic Bay.


19 March 2018

SBMA launches ‘Share the Road’ project to boost road safety

With this free port acknowledged nationwide as among the best in road safety and traffic discipline, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) on Thursday reinforced its safety policy by launching the “Share the Road” project, which involves the participation of various community sectors.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the project aims to boost road safety awareness in the whole of Subic Bay Freeport, as the agency vies to make Subic the center of excellence in public road safety.

“All over the country, people are looking at the Subic Bay Freeport as the place where traffic discipline and traffic rules are always observed. And we wanted that image to stay,” Eisma said.

“Now, we are involving all sectors — the whole Subic community — in this ‘Share the Road’ project to make all roads inside the Freeport the safest for travellers, pedestrians, drivers, and even for road maintenance workers,” she added.

In line with the project, the SBMA chief conducted a dialogue on Thursday with members and officials of local transportation groups, as well as motorcycle associations in the Subic Freeport and Olongapo City, and discussed the need to elevate road safety in the Subic area.

Eisma said the SBMA’s efforts to promote Subic as the next cruise ship playground in Asia through the agency’s Tourism Star program make it all the more necessary to boost road safety and traffic discipline in the Freeport.

She also reminded drivers, particularly those who operate taxis, buses and other means of public transportation, to be tourist-friendly so that visitors would better enjoy Subic, come back for more memorable experiences, and hence spend more tourist money while visiting local facilities and availing of local services.

“It would be a big blemish on the good image of Subic that we have been cultivating through the years if tourists complained of undisciplined or abusive drivers. I tell you, these things matter a lot in keeping Subic the number one tourist attraction in Central Luzon and now, the next cruise ship haven in this part of Asia,” Eisma said.

“So it is very important that we do not overcharge our fare, that we do not ignore traffic signs, and that we make full-stop at intersections, and give priority to crossing pedestrians,” she added.

Eisma also informed representatives of the transport sector that the SBMA would now require a thorough inspection of all vehicles requesting for SBMA decals, with particular focus on safe driving essentials like brake and signal lights, horns and seat belts.

She said that the Subic agency will also strictly enforce the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (RA 10913) and the Anti-Smoke Belching Law to further improve driving conditions in the Freeport.

“I know that you all wanted to have a decent way to earn a living. So, as stakeholders of the Subic Freeport, let us show the world that we are disciplined drivers and that we care about the reputation and the safety conditions of our community. Let’s share the road courteously to fellow motorists, pedestrians, and road maintenance workers to keep our place safe for everyone,” Eisma concluded.

Meanwhile, the officials and driver-leaders of various transport groups expressed their full support to the SBMA call and pledged to encourage their members to do their share in keeping Subic as a model for traffic discipline and road safety in the country. (MPD-SBMA)


SHARE THE ROAD: SBMA Chairman Wilma T. Eisma urges drivers and motorists to help boost traffic discipline and road safety in the Subic Bay Freeport.

Subic jet ski fun ride benefits Ayta community

The Ayta community at Barangay Cawag in Subic, Zambales became the beneficiary of the 2018 Jetski and Boat Charity Fun Run, as organizers donated P250,000 collected from participants in the event held on Saturday by Freeport locator Networx Jetsports.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma and Cawag Ayta tribal chieftain Antonio Cabalic formally received the P250,000-check during a simple beach-side ceremony conducted after the event at the Silanguin Cove in San Antonio, Zambales.

Eisma said the money will be used as “seed capital” for the Cawag Ayta Tribal Cooperative, with the fund earmarked for the establishment of micro and small businesses for members of the Cawag Ayta tribe.

The Subic tribesmen, who used to live a nomadic existence, now subsist mostly on hardscrabble agriculture and gathering of forest products.

According to organizers of the Jetski and Boat Charity Fun Run, around 380 participants joined the activity that involved 83 jet skis and 31 boats.

The fun run started from the Boardwalk Area of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, and then headed towards Silanguin Cove and back.

“It was a great feeling seeing all these wonderful people coming from different places and gathering together for this one great event. We are happy to inform everyone that we have beaten the record last year which had 77 jet skis and 30 Boats,” Networx Jetsports officials stated.

This is the ninth time that the company conducted this event, showing that charity can work hand-in-hand with a water sports event, especially in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The annual event is spearheaded by company honchos William Ang, Emmanuel “Dong” Arcilla and BJ Ang.

Established in 1997, Networx Jetsports caters to the needs of jet-ski enthusiasts. Founder Emmanuel Arcilla, an avid jet-ski racer, believed that the market was open for a superior and focused jet-ski dealership and service outfit.

In 2000, jet-ski racer and businessman William Ang joined Arcilla in spinning off Jetsports from its parent Networx Auto Detailing Corporation. Together, they expanded the business to reach more people who are into water sports.

Aside from jet skis and jet boats of different brands, Jetsports also sells various parts and accessories for jet skis. (MPD-SBMA)


[1] Subic Ayta tribal chieftain Antonio Cabalic (3rd from left) and SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma receive the P250,000-check donation from participants in the 2018 Jetski and Boat Charity Fun Run at the Subic Bay Freeport.

[2] Participants in the 2018 Jetski and Boat Charity Fun Run race to the finish at Subic Bay before handing out their donation to the Ayta community at Barangay Cawag, Subic, Zambales.

[3] Jet skis dot the beach at Silanguin Cove, in San Antonio, Zambales during the 2018 Jetski and Boat Charity Fun Run held on Saturday at the Subic Bay Freeport.

13 March 2018

Victory Liner starts P2P services in Clark-Subic, Clark-Dagupan routes

VICTORY Liner Incorporated (VLI), one of the biggest bus companies in Northern Luzon, announced the start of Point-to-Point (P2P) bus services from Clark International Airport to Subic Bay in Olongapo and the City of Dagupan in Pangasinan.

P2P buses pick up and drop off passengers only at designated terminals. VLI operations manager Ronald Sarmiento said Victory Liner decided to provide this service to allow overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales and Pangasinan to travel to and from Clark International Airport, instead of having to go to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

There will be four routes, with all trips going to and from Clark international airport in Dagupan and Subic.

For faster trips, Victory Liner will use the TPLEX and SCTEX. “From Clark international airports, there will be a trip from Clark to Subic. This trip begins at 1:00 am and the last trip will be at 8:00 pm.

For those living in Bataan and Zambales, there will be trips from Subic to San Fernando.

For residents of Pangasinan, trips to Clark will start at 1:00 am and the last trip at 8:00 pm,” said Sarmiento.

For the Clark to Dagupan routes, Victory Liner will only pick up passengers from Clark airport, SM Clark, SM Carmen and Urdaneta Victory Liner terminals.

Passengers going from Clark to Subic, pickup and drop-off points are to be found at Clark international airport, SM Clark, Victory Liner bus terminals at San Fernando and Dinalupihan and Harbort Point. (PR)


Subic Freeport expects 20 cruise-ship visits in 2018

At least 20 cruise-ship visits have been calendared this year by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), as the agency aims to cement its newly staked claim as the newest cruise ship playground in Asia.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said five different cruise ships have so far scheduled several port calls here from March to October this year, and that more arrivals are being coordinated with shipping agencies for the latter part of the year.

These visiting cruise ships include MV Costa Atlantica, an Italian-flagged vessel that made its second visit here on Tuesday following its first arrival on February 10, barely a month ago.

A list of cruise-ship visits to Subic showed the scheduled return here of Costa Atlantica on March 20 and the arrival of MV Superstar Gemini on March 13 and March 21, as well as MV Glory on March 31.

The SBMA schedule also indicated Costa Atlantica will return to Subic on April 3 and April 17, May 1 and May 22, June 5 and June 19, July 3, July 17 and July 31, and August 14 and August 28, for a total of 13 trips to Subic starting this month.

Meanwhile, two of the biggest cruise ships operated by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) will be in Subic this year: MS Ovation of the Seas on June 9, and MS Voyager of the Seas on August 26.

“Clearly, Subic is marking a new milestone in terms of cruise-ship arrival. This is not your usual once-in-a-blue-moon accidental port call; this is a surge!” Eisma gushed on Tuesday, as SBMA officials and employees awaited the arrival of Costa Atlantica for its second voyage here.

“Now, Subic is ready to offer the best tourism facilities and services for cruise-ship passengers, and we are betting that our visitors would find their experiences here—as well as in the neighboring areas of Zambales and Bataan—most memorable,” she added.

The 85,619-ton Costa Atlantica, which was also the first cruise ship to visit Subic this year, disembarked 2,500 passengers and crew on Tuesday for a one-day tour of the free port and neighboring communities.

While most of its passengers were taken by buses to various tourist destinations in the free port, some toured the free port’s central business district, with some venturing as far as the souvenir shops and public market in Olongapo City.

SBMA Cruise Ship Committee Chairman Marcelino Sanqui noted that, while the Subic agency spends a substantial amount to ensure the safety and enjoyment of cruise-ship passengers in Subic, it is the local tourism industry that profits the most from the cruise-ship arrivals.

“It is not our business to make profit from what we do; our mandate is to give business to our stakeholders,” said Sanqui, citing as beneficiaries local restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops and even vendors and taxi drivers.

“If one cruise-ship passenger spends just $10 while in Subic, that would mean a total income for Subic of $25,000 or P1.25 million for just one day,” he said.

Eisma, who led employees and residents in welcoming the passengers and crew of Costa Atlantica, said the growing number of cruise-ship bookings here manifests the capability of the SBMA to address the demands of the international cruise-ship industry and showcase the vibrancy of local tourism.

“We have been dreaming of becoming the next cruise-ship playground in Asia, and we can see that the dream is being realized right now,” Eisma said.

“We are hoping this initiative by the SBMA to attract cruise ships would further boost the development of the Subic Freeport and the communities around it,” she added. (Henry Empeño, BusinessMirror)

Passengers disembark from MV Costa Atlantica after the cruise ship docked on Tuesday at the Subic Bay Freeport for its second visit this year. (Henry Empeño, BusinessMirror)

05 March 2018

Subic Freeport eyes huge tourism ROI from 4-day Ad Summit

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) expects a huge bonanza for tourism establishments here with the hosting of the Ad Summit Pilipinas 2018 on March 7 to 10at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC).

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said that with about 5,000 participants going to what is recognized as the country’s biggest advertising and marketing event, the four-day Ad Summit would provide substantial revenue to tourism-related establishments, as well as media mileage to Subic Bay.

“It’s the hotels and restaurants and theme parks that would benefit most from this forthcoming event in Subic, and I hope that they’d make the best out of it,” Eisma said.

“But as a whole, the Subic Bay Freeport would be a winner in terms of promotion and media exposure and that is the best ROI (return on investment) that we get out of this event,” she added.

Eisma said that the SBMA would receive some P8.7 million in direct and indirect benefits from hosting the four-day convention.

“This will be on top of the income to be made by business establishments in the Freeport, as well as accredited suppliers during the event. So the actual ROI is quite huge, overall,” she pointed out.

According to the SBMA Tourism Department, the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As), which organizes Ad Summit, has committed around P7 million in media mileage to the SBMA for the upcoming event.

These include press releases and feature articles in print and online media; posters, flyers and banners for marketing and promotion; official television commercial and radio plugs; as well as exposure on social media.

Meanwhile, organizers would also have to pay the SBMA close to P1.2 million in SBECC utility fees and ad permits.

On the other hand, the Subic agency would earn an estimated P450,000 from the environment and tourism administrative fee (ETAF) charged by local hotels on their guests, and around P60,000 in ETAF from theme parks in the Freeport.

SBMA Tourism Department head Jem Camba said that some delegates to the summit bring along family members, who would visit parks and resorts in Subic and patronize local restaurants and shops in the Subic Bay and Olongapo City area.

Camba said organizers are charging each delegate P19,000 for Ad Summit inclusions like entrance to plenary sessions and talks, officially-sponsored meals, shuttle service within the summit venues, and admission to the awards night, parties and special events.

“However, this fee won’t cover hotel accommodation and breakfast, so this is where local businesses would earn from,” she explained.

Subic will be hosting Ad Summit Pilipinas for the third time since the biennial advertising and marketing convention organized by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As) debuted here in May 2014. The upcoming event is themed “DIY Your ROI,” as the advertising industry takes a closer look at the various impacts of creative work.

Organizers predicted that the Ad Summit will be a jampacked event, as they assembled a panel of speakers who will focus on new paradigms and innovative creative solutions to effect financial, as well as social, impact.

The Ad Summit will also feature the Creative Guild’s Kidlat Awards, which the group is promoting to be the country’s most prestigious creative advertising competition. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)


The Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center, venue of Ad Summit Pilipinas 2018

USS Bremerton Visits Subic Bay during Indo-Pacific Deployment

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) arrived at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone March 1 for a routine port visit during its deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.

The visit highlights the strong partnership between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines and gives the crew an opportunity to meet the local community living in the Subic area. It also demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s commitment to regional stability and maritime security in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

Bremerton’s crew of 150 sailors regularly conducts a variety of missions to maintain proficiency in the latest submarine fleet capabilities. Its stealth, mobility, endurance and firepower allow Bremerton to work independently or in conjunction with a carrier strike group.

“Bremerton’s arrival into Subic Bay means a lot to both my crew and the U.S. submarine force,” said Cmdr. Travis Zettel, commanding officer. “This is Bremerton’s ninth and final visit to Subic Bay in the ship’s 37 year history. My crew and I are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the local community while simultaneously preparing the ship for the remainder of our deployment.”

A number of the sailors aboard Bremerton have family from the Philippines and through this visit have the chance to better connect with their heritage.

“It really means a lot to me that I get the chance to visit a number of my family members again,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Gapasin, who lived in the Philippines for six years and has relatives in the area.

Measuring more than 300 feet long and weighing more than 6,000 tons when submerged, Bremerton is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and mine warfare.

Bremerton, the oldest commissioned submarine in the U.S. Navy, is currently homeported in Pearl Harbor. Later this year, Bremerton will move to its namesake city, Bremerton, Washington, where it will be decommissioned after nearly 40 years of naval service.


The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) arrives in Subic Bay Thursday morning, Mar. 01, for a routine port call after its deployment at the Indo-Pacific region. The visit of the 362-ft long vessel will be a chance for its 140 sailors and crew to have a few days of rest and recreation in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)


First-timers rule 93rd NCAA beach volleyball

San Beda University, Emilio Aguinaldo College and Arellano University came through with performances to remember to clinch their very first title in their respective divisions in the 93rd NCAA beach volleyball tournament at the Boardwalk in Subic Bay, Zambales Saturday.

Twice runners-up, twins Maria Jeziela and Maria Nieza Viray ended two years of frustration as they beat EAC’s Jaylene May Lumbo and Glyka Mariz Medina, 21-17, 21-10, to sweep their way to their first ever crown.

The Virays, who lost to San Sebastian’s Grethcel Solltones and Alyssa Eroa in the last two finals, completed their magical season with a perfect 11-0 win-loss record.

“We’re so ecstatic because after two years of losing in the finals, we finally won it,” said Maria Jeziela, the adjudged MVP who like her sister is taking up Bachelor of Physical Education and Wellness.

EAC’s Paolo Cezar Lim and Joshua Mina edged Perpetual Help’s Joebert Almodiel and Rey Taneo with a come-from-behind 17-21, 21-17, 15-13 win to likewise book their first men’s crown.

The Lim-Mina tandem also wound up with a pristine 11-0 slate.

Mina was named MVP.

AU for its part bucked a broken finger by Adrian Villados as Jesus Valdez and reserve Zachary Dablo, 21-16, 21-18 to also take home its first championship in the high school division.

Up a set and 14-13 in the second, Villados, the adjudged MVP, broke his right pinkie finger and was rushed to the nearby hospital but Dablo, his replacement, and Valdez held the fort to preserve the win and the crown. (ABS-CBN Sports)


27 February 2018

SBMA, Thai firm OK feasibility study of major infra projects

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bangkok-based Mahanakorn Partners Group Co., Ltd. (MPG) for the conduct of studies on the viability of various infrastructure projects proposed for construction inside this premier Freeport.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma and MPG managing partner Luca Bernardinetti on Tuesday signed the agreement here that would allow MPG to conduct studies free of charge on infrastructure undertakings under the proposed “Greater Subic Bay Freeport Multimodal Transport and Access and Logistics Support Projects.”

According to Eisma, the proposed projects are in support of President Duterte’s “Ten Point Agenda” to accelerate infrastructure spending and pump-prime economic development through productivity, trade and investment.

“The projects focus on the different infrastructure developments to be established in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone to catalyze its upgrading towards being a premier free port zone in Asia and the Pacific,” Eisma said.

“We want to help resolve congestion at the Port of Manila and ease traffic gridlock in the metropolis while shifting the momentum of development north toward the corridor of new wealth in Subic and Clark,” she added.

Eisma said that Subic and Clark are now at the epicenter of development as drivers of economic growth in the country.

Part of the study to be conducted will focus on the proposed construction of a 17.273-kilometer bypass road connecting the Subic seaport terminals directly to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) to provide exclusive routes for cargoes brought in and out of Subic Freeport.

Another project for study is the proposal to build a 17-kilometer bypass road Subic seaport to Segment 7 of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), a two-lane cargo trucks expressway and railway system, and a 25-kilometer bypass road from Tipo Road in Bataan to Castillejos, Zambales en route to the Redondo Peninsula to open up a 3,000-hectare new industrial site.

The MOU also covers the proposed upgrading of the existing Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) to world-class status, making it a viable alternative to the heavily congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), as well as a strategic transshipment and logistics hub in the Asian region.

Eisma said that under the agreement, the feasibility studies to be conducted by MPG on the proposed projects is free-of-charge and has no future legal or financial commitment from the SBMA.

The agreement between the two parties will remain in force for one year, but may be extended upon mutual consent.

The Mahanakorn Partners Group is a holding company based in Bangkok, Thailand. It is comprised of several firms providing services on business consulting, legal and trade finance, as well as property management and development, among others. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)


SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma and Mahanakorn Partners Group managing partner Luca Bernardinetti sign a memorandum of understanding for the conduct of feasibility studies of major infrastructure projects in the Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

23 February 2018

Lucio Tan eyes PAL flying school in Subic Freeport

Dr. Lucio Tan, chairman and chief executive officer of Philippine Airlines (PAL), is looking into the establishment here of a flying school under his flagship airlines brand.

The business tycoon flew into the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA) here last Sunday for an ocular inspection of airport facilities, and was welcomed by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma.

During the visit, Tan inquired about the state of facilities at the airport terminal, as well as other business potentials and tourism facilities that would complement an aviation-related trade.

“He was all smiles since the moment he landed at the SBIA on board his helicopter,” Eisma said. “The SBMA technical working group made a presentation showing the full potential of the Subic airport and I believe he was very much impressed.”

The PAL chairman, along with his entourage, closely inspected the Subic airport terminal, and asked for areas that could possibly be used for restaurants or passenger lounges.

Eisma, meanwhile, briefed him of the design and purpose of the terminal and pointed out that it used to accommodate local and international flights.

“Despite not being fully utilized, the SBIA equipment all work properly. We have kept them in tip-top shape,” Eisma pointed out.

The SBIA, which was completed in 1996 in time for Subic’s hosting of the APEC summit, boasts of a 10,000-square meter passenger terminal that has two gates, two jet ways, a closed-circuit television system, and a 9,000-foot runway.

It also has a military ramp at the southwest area, which is used by US Air Force planes under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States. Meanwhile, its midway ramp is being utilized by a flight school here for aircraft parking.

Tan and his group also went on a rolling tour of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, and looked into areas such as the Alava Wharf and the Cubi residential area.

The businessman, who asked if there were enough hotels that could accommodate the possible influx of airline passengers in Subic, was reportedly thrilled over the tourism sites that abound in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Early this month, leaders of the Hong Kong-based Asian Business Aviation Association said in a forum here that the SBIA could be developed as a business and general aviation (BA/GA) airport to help increase people mobility, as well as boost business operations in the region.

Eisma said the agency is now aggressively promoting Subic as an aviation hub and is entertaining all possible options to maximize the use of its airport facilities.

“It is a challenge to us to get SBIA running. We’re all for these suggestions to turn Subic into an aviation hub that would cater to tourists, as well as traders because that would mean more business for the Freeport,” she added. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)


SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma and Dr. Lucio Tan discuss the potentials of the Subic Bay International Airport when the business magnate visited Subic on Sunday.

16 February 2018

Subic Freeport to host Ad Summit 2018

The country’s biggest annual advertising convention will return here next month with the staging of the 2018 Ad Summit Pilipinas on March 7 to 10 at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC).

Atty. Wilma T. Eisma, chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Tuesday with officials of the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As) for the holding of said event here for the third time.

Eisma said the return of Ad Summit Pilipinas to this premier free port “again shows just how much the Subic Bay Freeport has become the top-of-mind location for the biggest event in local advertising industry.”

She noted that the 4As convention had historically brought a record-number of visitors to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Under the signed MOA, SBMA will provide the venue and manpower needed in staging Ad Summit Pilipinas, with the agency’s Tourism, Media Production, and Law Enforcement departments providing key support to the organizers.

Eisma said that with an expected 5,000 delegates coming from various sectors, the Ad Summit “is set to further push tourism figures in Subic this summer.”

“And we will be ready for this,” she added, pointing out that Freeport establishments could accommodate the expected number of delegates, as well as their families who might want to tour the Subic Bay Freeport Zone at the same time.

Ad Summit Pilipinas 2018 overall chair Norman Agatep said this year’s event will be themed “DIY Your ROI,” with the original meaning of Return of Investment creatively repurposed into topics like “Return on Ideas”, “Return on Innovation” and “Return on Impact.”

He added that organizers already have a full line-up of speakers for the four-day event, who are expected to wow the crowd with lectures on new paradigms and innovative creative solutions.

“We are gathering some of the most brilliant minds in the world to enlighten attendees on how best to measure brand success in the fast-evolving marketing communication industry,” Agatep said.

“Monetary profit is no longer the only relevant metric today,” he added. “It’s time to DIY your ROI.”

Ad Summit participants are also expected to watch for the Kidlat Awards, which are given out by the Creative Guild of the Philippines.

Fast on its way to becoming the most prestigious creative advertising competition in the country, Kidlat recognizes campaigns and efforts that perfectly bring themes such as “DIY Your ROI” into reality. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


SBMA Chairman Wilma T. Eisma (second from right) signs an agreement for the staging of the 2018 Ad Summit Pilipinas in the Subic Bay Freeport with (from left): 4As President Sue Ann Nolido, Ad Summit 2018 Chairman Norman Agatep, and 4As Philippines Chairman Bong Pacia. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

Subic becomes next cruise ship playground in Asia with ‘Costa Atlantica’ visit

The cruise ships are coming to Subic Bay!

Warmly welcomed by the Subic Bay community, the Italian-flagged cruise ship Costa Atlantica arrived here at 7:00 in the morning Saturday bringing in more than 2,000 passengers, mostly Chinese, to the Freeport.

Costa Atlantica’s visit is just the first of some 15 cruise ship visits expected in this Freeport for the year.

“Subic’s time to become the next cruise ship playground of Asia has already begun” said SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma who, along with SBMA officials and members of the Board, led the community in welcoming the cruise ship at the Alava Pier.

“We are very excited,” Eisma said. “I hope that this will spark our dream of making Subic a part of the inter-island itinerary of international cruise ships.”

Costa Atlantica’s arrival is a litmus test for Subic, which is raring to draw foreign tourists to the various attractions on its shores.

Eisma had earlier announced the arrival in Subic of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship MS Ovation of the Seas in June, to be followed by the Voyager of the Seas in August.

Eisma said the Subic Bay Freeport promises to offer the best tourism facilities and services for tourists from the arriving ships, with memorable and tailored-tourism experiences to meet the expectation of visitors.

The visiting Costa Atlantica is an 85,619-ton, 292.56-meter Spirit-class cruise ship owned and operated by Costa Crociere (Costa Cruises), an Italian cruise line based in Genoa, Italy and owned by Carnival Corporation & Plc.

The Costa Cruises brand currently operates 15 cruise ships that provide cruise holidays in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America.

Costa Atlantica is renowned for having all of its decks named after the movies of Italian movie director Federico Fellini. Each deck is said to be elegantly adorned with Italian-inspired decors of arts and furniture that brings its passengers to the admiration of wonderful arts, lights and scenery day and night.

The ship is described to be full of large, open spaces offering all kinds of entertainment, from the Caruso Theatre to the Disco Dante, to the fashionable shops in Via della Spiga. (RAV/RBB/MPD-SBMA)


[1] The M/V Costa Atlantica, a 85,619-ton Spirit-class cruise ship with around 2,000 passenger tourists, mostly Chinese nationals, arrives in Subic Bay Freeport Saturday (Feb. 10) for a port visit. 

[2] Wellwishers welcome the arrival of M/V Costa Atlantica, a 85,619-ton Spirit-class cruise ship with around 2,000 passenger tourists mostly Chinese nationals at the Alava pier of Subic Bay Freeport. 

[3] Costa Atlantica Captain Enzo Di Nuncio (middle) hands over a scale replica of the ship to SBMA Chief Atty. Wilma Eisma upon the arrival of the famed cruise ship at the Alava Wharf Saturday (Feb. 10). The arrival of the 2,000 passenger cruise ship marks the start of Subic Freeport's prominence as the next cruise ship playground in Asia. 


15 February 2018

SBMA releases P147-million LGU shares

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) recently released a total of P147 million representing revenue shares to eight local government units (LGUs) adjacent to the Subic Bay Freeport.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the revenue shares were given to help finance development projects in health, education, peace and order, and livelihood programs so that the contiguous communities can keep pace with developments in the Subic Bay Freeport and Special Economic Zone.

Based on SBMA records, Olongapo City received the highest revenue share with P34.35 million, followed by the municipality of Subic, Zambales, with P22.46 million, and Dinalupihan, Bataan, with P18.32 million.

The other municipalities in Zambales that received the LGU share were Castillejos, with P13.69 million; San Marcelino, P17.66 million; and San Antonio, P12.65 million.

On the other hand, Morong and Hermosa towns in Bataan received P12.79 million and P15.31 million, respectively.

The shares were personally received from Chairman Eisma by Mayors Rolen Paulino of Olongapo, Jay Khonghun of Subic, Jose Angelo Dominguez of Castillejos, Elvis Soria of San Marcelino, Estela Antipolo of San Antonio, and Joseph Inton of Hermosa.

Eisma said the P147.22 million distributed last week represented LGU shares for the second half of 2017. The amount was 6.96 percent lower than the P150.46 distributed for the same period last year.

“SBMA is continuously working on every possible means to attract more investors to create more jobs and increase the LGU shares,” Eisma said during the turnover at the SBMA head office last Friday.

However, she urged the LGUs to help the SBMA develop estates in their respective areas and to start planning for the extension of the Freeport’s fenced-in areas because the SBMA is already running out of space to meet the space requirement of new and bigger investors.

“If we could no longer accept new investors, the LGU shares from SBMA would not improve further, and, worse, could even diminish,” she noted.

“We have to find ways to extend the Freeport area, so that we could grow and develop more businesses and create more livelihood opportunities for local residents,” she added.

Locators and investors operating within the Subic Bay Freeport remit to the SBMA percent of their gross income. Of the five percent gross revenue, three percent goes to the national treasury, while two percent is distributed by the SBMA among the eight neighboring LGUs.

The LGU share is computed based on population, 50 percent; land area, 25 percent, and equal sharing, 25 percent. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma with Zambales and Bataan local government executives who received LGU shares from the SBMA (L-R): Mayor Jay Khonghun, Mayor Rolen Paulino, Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez, Chairman Wilma T. Eisma, Mayor Estela Antipolo, Mayor Elvis Soria, Mayor Joseph Inton, and SBMA Director Julius Escalona.