23 June 2018

Ayta tribe gets title over ancestral land in Subic Freeport

After 14 years of bargaining, and hoping and praying, the Magbukun Ayta tribe of Sitio Kanawan in Morong, Bataan finally got approval on their claim for ancestral domain over some 12,000 hectares of land straddling parts of Morong town and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

During the third and final hearing on the Magbukun tribe’s petition at the Subic Park Hotel here on June 18, the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) en banc found their claim valid and passed approval of the same.

The application was approved by the seven NCIP commissioners: Chairperson Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo, Basilio Wandag, Norberto Navarro, Ramcy Astoveza, Dominador Gomez, Boi Era España, and Roy Dabuit.

The NCIP officials met with the Magbukun tribal council here to deliberate on the latter’s long-standing application for a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT), which would formally recognize the rights of the indigenous community over their ancestral land.

According to Rodelio Tamundog, tribal chieftain of the Magbukuns, they started applying for a CADT way back in 2004.

“It feels good,” an elated Tamundog said. “Now we have the freedom to decide on the land that we inherited from our forefathers and determine our own future.”

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma, whose agency has operational control over a good part of the Magbukun territory, described the approval as a historic occasion for Subic Bay.

“It was also in June, 27 years ago, that most of the Ayta tribes in Zambales, Bataan, and Pampanga, were displaced and dispossessed by the disastrous eruption of Mt. Pinatubo,” Eisma noted.

“But despite their sad plight, they were with us in protecting and preserving Subic when the Americans pulled out of this former US Naval Base,” she added.

Eisma also called for further assistance form the NCIP in the processing of a similar title for the Ayta tribesmen of Barangay Cawag in Subic, Zambales, whose land also form part of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The Magbukuns of Kanawan now has ownership of a total of 12,301.354 hectares. Of this, 11,769.054 hectares consist of hills and forests, while the remaining 532.300 hectares are water bodies.

NCIP officer in charge for Bataan Michael Baldonado said that a lot hard work went into the Magbukun CADT. He recalled the years spent on preparing the claim, presenting proofs, producing evidences, as well as researching the tribe’s genealogies and checking available historical archives.

Betty Fielder, who heads the Subic Indigenous People Assistance Group (SIPAG) which is assisting the Kanawan Aytas, said she foresees better prospects for the tribe now that the NCIP has recognized their right over ancestral lands.

SIPAG, Fielder added, will be helping the Magbukuns in formulating a joint management agreement with the SBMA for the development of Ayta lands covered by the Subic Freeport.

The SBMA has entered into a similar agreement with the Pastolan Ayta tribe in Hermosa, Bataan, which was the first indigenous community within the confines of the Subic Freeport to be given a CADT.

The Pastolan tribe is now earning revenue for the use of their land by Subic Bay Freeport investors through remittances from the SBMA. (CAE/MPD-SBMA)


Members of the Kanawan Ayta tribe of Morong, Bataan celebrate with SBMA Chairman Wilma T. Eisma following the approval of their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

Subic training more tour guides to keep up with cruise ship arrivals

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has started training employees to help in guiding the growing number of tourists from large cruise ships that now frequently call in this free port.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said that the agency, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism, rolled out a Basic Tourist Reception and Guiding Program to keep up with the rising demand for more tour guides.

“So far, the SBMA had trained three batches of new tour guides since February this year when cruise ships began regularly plying the Subic Bay Freeport route,” Eisma said.

“With each cruise ship bringing in from 2,000 to 5,000 tourists at each port call, and with about 20 cruise ship arrivals scheduled this year, we really need all the help we can get to manage this unprecedented influx of visitors,” she also said.

The employee-tour guides will be on-call for the part-time work. “They won’t be earning huge amounts of money, as they are doing it out of ‘malasakit’ for the SBMA,” Eisma explained.

The SBMA tour guides are picked from various departments that serve as frontline customer-service units and are asked to undergo a two-day training program to enhance their oral communication skills.

The training includes delivery of spiel and a mock tour where trainees are given situations that required fast thinking and effective delivery, said SBMA tourism head Jem Camba.

Camba said that with each cruise ship arrival, a minimum of 20 tour guides are called on for duty. Bigger cruise ships like the MS Ovation of the Seas, the biggest in operation in Asia, require around 45 tour guides who would accompany Mandarin-speaking interpreters assigned to tour buses.

The SBMA tour guides, who are well-versed on Subic Bay and its environs, are tasked to provide precise information about local tourism destinations that will be passed on by interpreters to the mostly Chinese passengers of cruise ships arriving here.

Thompson Gatdula, an SBMA employee-tour guide, described the work as fun and educational.

“I get to know more about other people and their culture, as they get to know more about the Subic Bay Freeport and other local communities,” said Gatdula, who had accompanied tourists to as far as the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, an open-air museum and heritage site in Bagac, Bataan.

“We’re doing this out of ‘malasakit’ for the SBMA and the country. Whatever we do here would reflect on us as Filipinos, so we have to be our best each time we interact with cruise ship visitors,” he added.

Like Gatdula, the on-call tour guides get a message each time their services are needed. This gives the full itinerary for the day and identifies the areas that the tourists are scheduled to visit.

“The job usually entails working and being on the road the whole day, but believe me, it is worth it,” said Gatdula. “When you make visitors smile, when you make them fall in love with the Subic Bay Freeport, that gives you a deep sense of accomplishment.”

A total of 13 cruise ship arrivals have been recorded in Subic Bay since February this year, and seven more arrivals are scheduled until October 2018. Eisma said that by then, an army of SBMA tour guides would be ready to make international cruise ship passengers appreciate Subic Bay Freeport and the Philippines more. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)


[1] An SBMA tour guide snaps pictures of disembarked tourists from the MS Ovation of the Seas cruise ship. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[2] An SBMA tour guide shepherds newly-arrived cruise ship passengers during a tour of the Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[3] Tourists listen to an SBMA tour guide’s spiel on local culture during a visit at the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar museum and heritage site in Bagac, Bataan. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

21 June 2018

NFA starts unloading imported rice in Subic

The National Food Authority (NFA) started unloading imported rice from Thailand and Vietnam via the Subic Bay Freeport to reach intended destinations in Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley.

NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said in meeting here with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Wilma T. Eisma that a total of 340,000 bags of premium rice arrived at the Port of Subic on board the cargo ship MV Tay Son 2 on June 5, but that unloading was delayed due to foul weather.

Another shipment consisting of 160,000 bags is expected to arrive here next week to complete the 500,000 bags or 250,000 metric tons scheduled for unloading via Subic Freeport.

Aquino said that 100,000 bags will be distributed in Cagayan Valley, while 400,000 bags will be distributed in Central Luzon. He added that with the arrival of the long-awaited rice shipments, the NFA is expecting a drop of from P1 to P2 in the price of commercial rice

However, the official clarified that only marginalized sectors, indigenous people, and NFA-accredited retailers endorsed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) can avail of the imported rice at P27 per kilo.

Aquino also said that the rice importation was coursed through the government to government (G2G) procurement scheme in line with the call of President Duterte to fast-track the importation of rice to maintain food security in the country.

He noted that more than one million bags of imported rice intended for Metro Manila has already arrived, but could not be unloaded because of over-crowding at the Port of Manila.

SBMA Chairman Eisma, meanwhile, urged the NFA to use the Port of Subic more often, pointing out that that there is hardly any cargo traffic here, and that the Freeport is strategically positioned to serve as unloading point for goods destined to various point sin Luzon.

She also expressed appreciation to NFA officials for making Subic an NFA discharge port for its rice importation program.

NFA Administrator Aquino, accompanied by NFA spokesperson Rex Estoperez and other NFA Zambales provincial officials, called on Eisma at the SBMA office on Wednesday morning before proceeding to inspect the rice shipment at Subic’s NSD Pier. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


[1] Workers unload imported rice at a warehouse in the Subic Bay Freeport on Wednesday, as the NFA started distributing imported rice to Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[2] NFA Administrator Jason Aquino and NFA Spokesperson Rex Estoperez confer with SBMA Chairman Wilma Eisma on the unloading of imported rice at the Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

Subic Bay community deals with storm debris the ‘bayanihan’ way

Stakeholders in the Subic Bay area gathered by the hundreds here on Monday to help the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) clean up a shoreline littered with tons of debris brought about by the storm last week.

Heeding a call for “bayanihan” from SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, agency employees, company workers, and students trooped to four cleanup stations at the waterfront, armed with nothing else but rakes, shovels, brooms, and a strong sense of community.

A delegation from Olongapo City headed by Mayor Rolen Paulino and Vice Mayor Jong Cortez also arrived to boost both spirit and manpower during the clean-up, bringing with them two pay-loaders to help speed up the hauling of mostly tree branches, plastic materials and other solid wastes.

Meanwhile, Subic Grain Pro, a company based in the Freeport, donated gloves, broomsticks, garbage bags and empty sacks, as well as bread and sandwiches, water and noodles for use by the volunteers.

An automotive seller, the Subic Truck Boy, also lent a pay-loader and a dump truck to augment SBMA equipment used in digging, collecting and hauling trash from the beach.

SBMA Chairman Eisma made the call for beach cleanup and waste segregation over the weekend, as various trash washed up on the shores of this tourism center following a week of incessant heavy rains.

“We had to remove the debris that piled up, and then segregate and dispose of them, and that was a huge job,” Eisma noted. “It is really heartwarming to see the whole community responding to our call for assistance, for them to show their ‘malasakit’ for the Subic Freeport.”

Vice Mayor Cortez said the instantaneous collaboration between the SBMA and the city government “showed that the two government institutions can come together swiftly as one for the love of the community and concern for environment.”

“The residents of Olongapo, Zambales and Bataan have a deep sense of community, especially in matters of the environment. After all the sea, forest, air and water are resources that are common to all,” he added.

Eisma said the pile-up of storm debris is a constant problem during the rainy season for the SBMA, which has been promoting Subic not only as a business enclave, but also as a tourism center.

At least seven major rivers empty into the bay of Subic, which straddles a good part of the 67,000-hectare area of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. These are the Pamulaklakin and Boton rivers in the Subic Bay Freeport; Kalalake, Sta. Rita-Kalaklan, and Maquinaya rivers in Olongapo; and Matain and Calapandayan rivers in Subic, Zambales.

Subic Bay, which forms the communal waters of Olongapo, and Zambales and Bataan, had been described as a threatened resource largely due to trash inflows from its tributaries.

Eisma said this is an environmental problem that transcends the geographical boundaries of communities near the Subic Bay.

“We’re all affected by this problem, and that is why we—the Subic Freeport, Olongapo, Zambales and Bataan—should work together to deal with it and come up with effective solutions,” she said.

Eisma said that another clean-up has been scheduled this week to cover the rest of the two-kilometer waterfront at the Freeport’s Central Business District, and that she hopes again to muster support from various Subic stakeholder groups.

“We’re getting better at this bayanihan projects because we have ingrained upon our stakeholders the value of malasakit,” Eisma said. “Everybody helps, and everybody wins.” (HEE/MPD-SBMA)


[1] Volunteers troop to the waterfront in the Subic Bay Freeport to help clean up debris washed on the shore during Typhoon Domeng. (FLP/MPD-SBMA)

[2] SBMA Chairman Amy T. Eisma (in cap and eyeglasses) directs the clean-up project along the waterfront in the Subic Bay Freeport after Typhoon Domeng. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[3] Volunteers pass around debris to be hauled away by trucks during a shoreline clean-up project in the Subic Bay Freeport after Typhoon Domeng. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

14 June 2018

Subic Freeport business permits now valid for 3 years

To further promote the business-friendly atmosphere in this free port and boost government efforts on transparency, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) extended the validity of business registrations here from one to three years.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma recently released the first batch of Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption (CRTE) that are valid for three years, and cited the agency’s streamlining of business processes to better serve the needs of business locators.

“This has long been overdue. The previous board under Chairman Garcia promised this to locators, but nothing happened. So we made it a priority project for our 2018 program and we’re proud that after all the hard work, it finally materialized now,” Eisma said.

Eisma added that her administration’s drive for a more investor-friendly climate in Subic is in keeping with President Duterte’s orders for transparency and good governance.

“We want to make life easy for our investors, and the SBMA will continuously work towards improving its system,” she pointed out.

The three-year CRTE was approved by the SBMA Board of Directors on January 26 this year. Then a public hearing to gain acceptance by stakeholders was successfully held on February 28. The announcement of the approved measure was subsequently published on May 9.

Eisma’s office had also taken over the approval and release of CRTEs to further speed up the issuance of this important business document.

According to Kenneth Rementilla, SBMA Deputy Administrator for Business and Investments, business locators were previously required to renew their CRTE annually. But under the new system, businesses with lease terms of more than three years can avail of a three-year registration, or opt for an annual renewal.

Rementilla added that CRTE-holders in the Subic Bay Freeport can enjoy waived value-added tax (VAT), ad valorem and excise tax on internal revenue taxes, customs and import duties, and national revenue taxes, among others.

However, the business locators would have to pay a final tax of 5 percent of the gross income earned (GIE), as required by law. Of the 5 percent final tax, 2 percent is allocated for revenue shares to local government units, while 3 percent goes to the national treasury.

Among those who received the three-year CRTEs from the SBMA are Dongyang Food Machinery Philippines Corp.; Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning Philippines Inc.; Juken Sangyo (Phils.) Corp.; and UPower Building Corporation. (RFD/MPD-SBMA)


SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma joins representatives of Subic-registered companies that received their 3-year CRTE from the Subic agency. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

13 June 2018

1st Subic Bay film festival set June 22-24

The Subic Bay International Film Festival (SBIFF), which aims to provide a platform for local filmmakers to create their art and to refocus the attention of the international filmmaking industry to the Subic Bay Freeport, will take off here on June 22 to 24 with the screening of six feature films.

Festival directors Vic Vizcocho Jr., publisher of Subic Bay News, and Arlyn Dela Cruz-Bernal, news director of Radyo Inquirer and Inquirer 990 TV, said the Subic Bay Freeport has long served as a localé for both international and local films, and remains to be a rich source of stories that could be made into movies.

“This is our chance to give back to the community by creating what we call waves of opportunities to filmmakers,” said Dela Cruz, who also has seven films to her credit either as producer, writer or director.

“We want to bring back the interest in Subic Bay as a premiere destination for filmmakers, local and international, because we have so much to offer in terms of story ideas, manpower, resources, talents and locations,” Vizcocho added.

One of the highlights of festival, they added, will be an opportunity for filmmakers to present storylines that may qualify for financing through SBIFF initiative.

For the first year of the festival, six feature films will be competing for awards: “Boy Intsik”, a film by Joel Lamangan; “Balatkayo” by Neil Tan; “Araw sa Likod Mo” by Dominic Nuesa; “Isang Hakbang” by Mike Magat; “Rolyo” by CC Woodruff Jr.; and “Old Skool” by Cia Hermosa-Gorge.

Organizers said four of the full-length feature films are old titles made in the last three years and had received recognition in other film competitions, while two others are yet to be released.

Dela Cruz explained that the first year of the festival will not be a competition for newly-made films, but a venue for filmmakers “to be seen by another group of audience, and to undergo judging for the merits of their films by another set of jury.”

Meanwhile, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Wilma T. Eisma welcomed the festival project for creating a vehicle for the development of local filmmakers, and called on members of the film industry to help in promoting “malasakit” in the society.

“Filmmakers should go beyond box-office revenues because their influence on the social and cultural fabric of society is undeniable. It is a power they can and should use to build, not destroy; to grow, not to stunt the values and morals of our people,” Eisma noted.

“I ask the people in the film industry to harness the transformative power of malasakit in cinema because yours is, no doubt, a most compelling medium for positive change,” she added.

Entries in the film festival will be screened at a Harbor Point cinema here on June 22 to 24. The screening is open for free to the public from 10:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

The films will compete for the eight major awards: best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, best screenplay, best in cinematography, best in production design, and best in music. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)


[1] Festival organizers and sponsors unveil the logo of the Subic Bay International Film Festival during its launch on June 8. L-R: Festival director Vic Vizcocho Jr., Olongapo Vice Mayor Jong Cortez, Director Arlyn dela Cruz-Bernal, SBMA deputy administrator Chot Kabigting (partly hidden), and Harbor Point manager Derek Quijano. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[2] Festival organizers, along with film directors and actors, and project sponsors unveil the logo of the Subic Bay International Film Festival during its launch on June 8. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

Subic hosts triathlon qualifier

The first ASTC Asian Youth Olympic Games (YOG) qualifier will be held June 17 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Fifty-seven triathletes from 17 countries will vie for 10 slots – five boys and five girls – to the Buenos Aires YOG set in September.

Among those who have signed up for the qualifier are the Philippines’ Karen Manayon, Lauren Plaza, Joshua Ramos, Juan Francisco Baniqued, Inaki Lorbes and Joshua Averion.

The other notable entries include Teppei Tokuyama (Japan), Nicholas Rachmadi (Singapore), Dongwook Kim (South Korea), Ka Eun Kim (South Korea), Tsz Ho Li (Hong Kong), Maki Uchida (Japan), Megan Hwee Wen Tan (Malaysia), Tingnui Li (China) and Ekaterina Ryazanova (Uzbekistan).

The event is organized by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) and supported by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Tourism Department, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Standard Insurance, Gatorade and Asian Center for Insulation.

Meanwhile, entries from the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia will compete in the SEATA Sprint Championships.

The Philippines will be led by Southeast Asian Games medalists Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano in the Elite Men division. They will be challenged by Singapore’s Bryce Chong and Cedric Jiang Hong, Indonesia’s Jauhari Johan and other members of the national team such as Edward Macalalad, Juan Carlos Abad, Julius Constantino and Mark Hosana. (Manila Standard)


09 June 2018

Bigger cruise ships now calling at Subic Bay Freeport

The Subic Bay Freeport has entered the next level in its cruise ship tourism program, as bigger and more luxurious vessels began making port calls here this week.

MS Ovation of the Seas, the latest in the Quantum-class cruise vessels of the Royal Caribbean International cruise line, arrived here on Friday for its maiden port call.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma noted that the Ovation of the Seas was the biggest ship to ever dock in Subic in its long history as a naval facility.

“This ship is huge, even bigger than the so-called super-carriers of the US Navy that used to dock here when Subic was still a military base,” Eisma pointed out.

“So, as you can see, we have now taken this cruise ship program several notches higher. We started in February this year with Costa Atlantica, which has a passenger capacity of just over 2,000, and now we have this—Ovation of the Seas with almost 5,000 passengers and crew,” she added.

“We are glad that in its own little way, Subic is able to help in the national government effort to raise tourist arrivals in the country and generate more income for local people,” she added.

The Ovation of the Seas is an 18-decker ship that measures 348 meters long, has a gross tonnage of 168,666, a maximum occupancy of 4,905 passengers and, along with its sisters Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Sea, is considered the sixth biggest cruise ship in the world today.

To accommodate cruise ship passengers who wanted to visit tourist attractions in Subic and nearby communities last Friday, organizers had to field more than 50 tourist buses, the SBMA said.

Two days earlier, MS World Dream, owned by Genting Hong Kong Ltd., also docked at Subic’s Alava Wharf for a day-long stay in Subic.

World Dream, which has a capacity of 3,400 passengers, is listed as the 19th biggest among the cruise ships in operation today.

Eisma said more cruise ships can be expected here, as the Subic agency is undertaking facility development projects to further improve port services, allow the handling of bigger maritime vessels, and boost port income.

She said the SBMA and the national government have allocated a total of P135.8 million for the port infrastructure development program.

“With the completion of these three port projects by next year, we expect to see more attractive and more efficient port facilities, more customers coming in, and more income for the port,” Eisma added.

According to SBMA Tourism Department manager Jem Camba, at least 20 cruise ship arrivals have been calendared here for this year. These include three arrivals each for the month of June, July and August.

Another Royal Caribbean vessel, the Voyager of the Seas, has been scheduled to arrive here in August.

Camba said that cruise ship arrivals significantly boost local income as cruise ship passengers visit local attractions in Subic, as well as nearby communities in Olongapo City, Zambales and Bataan.

“Local communities, as well as business establishments in the Freeport, definitely earn a lot from the arrival of cruise ships because the passengers buy local products, eat at restaurants and sample local cuisine, and enjoy themselves at the various tourism establishments in and around Subic Bay Freeport Zone,” she said. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)


[1] MS Ovation of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship, docks at the Alava Wharf during its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport on Friday, June 8. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[2] Subic residents and SBMA employees welcome the arrival of MS Ovation of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship, which made its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport on Friday, June 8. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[3] Dancers in colorful costume provide welcome gaiety at Alava Wharf during the arrival of MS Ovation of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship, which made its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport on Friday, June 8. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[4] SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma welcomes a passenger from MS Ovation of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship, which made its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport on Friday, June 8. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[5] A throng of mostly Chinese tourists disembark from MS Ovation of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship, which made its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport on Friday, June 8. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

LOOK: MV World Dream arrives in Subic Bay

The cruise ship MV World Dream prepares to dock at the Alava Wharf for its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Wednesday morning (June 06).

Street dancers in native Ayta costume perform as they welcome the arrival of the cruise ship MV World Dream, which made its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Wednesday morning (June 06).

Passengers disembark from the cruise ship MV World Dream, which made its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Wednesday morning (June 06).

Passengers from the cruise ship MV World Dream pose for photographs with dancers in native Ayta costume following their arrival in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Wednesday morning (June 06).

Captain Jan Blomqvist of MV World Dream welcomes on board the cruise ship SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma following its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Wednesday morning (June 06).

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma hands over a memento to Captain Jan Blomqvist of MV World Dream following the arrival of the cruise ship for its maiden port call in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on Wednesday morning (June 06).


SBMA sets P135.8-M port dev’t projects to host bigger ships, boost income

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said it has commenced major infrastructure projects that would significantly develop the Port of Subic to provide better services to port users and accommodate bigger maritime vessels.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said a total of P135.8 million has been allocated for the said projects that are designed to increase the number of shipping lines visiting Subic and to boost port revenue.

“From merely a handful just a few years back, the number of commercial shipping lines regularly visiting Subic has now reached 23—and these do not include the growing number of cruise ships that are docking in Subic and bringing in tourists,” Eisma pointed out.

“With the completion of these three port projects by next year, we expect to see more attractive and more efficient port facilities, more customers coming in, and more income for the port,” she added.

According to the SBMA Seaport Department, the Subic port generated P1.17 billion in 2017, which is 3.27% higher than the P1.13 billion collected in 2016.

The commercial vessels now plying the Subic route include some of the biggest shipping lines: NYK Fil-Japan Shipping Corp., APL, Maersk Line, Evergreen Line, K Line, and Wan Hai.

Meanwhile, at least 20 cruise ships have confirmed to visit Subic this year beginning February when the Italian-flagged MV Costa Atlantica arrived with about 2,500 passengers and crew.

Bigger cruise ships with about 4,500 persons on board are expected to arrive once port facilities here are fully developed, Eisma said.

SBMA Seaport Department general manager Jerome Martinez said the port projects are contained in three packages, with fund appropriation from the SBMA and the national government.

Package 1, which has actually been completed last year, includes the repair of SBMA Seaport’s ISPS CCTV Surveillance System Phase I which covers the area of the former Naval Supply Depot, New Container Terminal, and Kalaklan Sector Light. This package cost P4.28 million and was funded by the SBMA.

Package II includes rehabilitation of port facilities and navigational equipment with the installation of 11 new navigational buoys, including the provision of tracking system for the existing navigational buoys at the Port of Subic. The project is being funded by the national government in the amount of P47.5 million and is expected to be completed next year.

Package III, also funded by the national government in the amount of P83.9 million, includes the rehabilitation of the NSD Road Network Project (Phase 2) and is expected to be finished next year.

Martinez said the CCTV surveillance system for the port will augment traffic monitoring and security surveillance in the area. “With this, port users would feel safer because they know their properties are protected 24/7 against theft, vandalism and unauthorized entry,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the new navigational buoys and tracking system will improve safety of ships, especially the gigantic Quantum-class cruise and cargo ships, as these will update ship skippers on maritime information and help determine their current position in relation to land and hidden underwater features.

Martinez said this is more necessary with the arrival in Subic of bigger cruise ships like MS World Dream, which has gross tonnage of 151,300, or the Quantum-class MS Ovation of the Seas with 168,666 gross tons. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


Bigger vessels like the MS World Dream cruise ship are expected in the Subic Bay Freeport with the completion of the SBMA’s port development projects. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

05 June 2018

Seychelles triathlete makes history in Philippines’ first full Ironman

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Pride of the Seychelles Nick Baldwin has just made many different forms of history on Sunday here.

Baldwin bested six other fellow male professional triathletes. to claim the top spot in the 2018 Century Ironman Philippines – the first-ever full-distance Ironman race in the country.

“This is awesome. I’ve heard a lot about the Philippines and it was really special to win the first one here,” he told reporters with a big smile after winning. “I hope they have more and I hope I get to come back again.”

The 30-year-old logged a total time of 8:50.13 in the race covering 3.8 km of swimming, 180 km of biking, and 42.95 km of running.

His time was six minutes better than his closest competitor – leaving no doubt about the very first personal championship for him.

More than that, Baldwin’s win also made him the very first Seychelles triathlete to win an Ironman race.

The Seychelles is an Eastern African archipelagic country found in the Indian Ocean. It has a population of 94, 228, as per the UN.

Read more --> https://sports.abs-cbn.com/generalsports/news/2018/06/03/seychelles-triathlete-makes-history-ph-s-1st-full-ironman-42441 

1,278 triathletes join first-ever PHL full Ironman in Subic Freeport

A total of 1,278 triathletes joined the Century Tuna Ironman Philippines 2018 here on Sunday, helping cement Subic’s reputation as the triathlon capital of the country, as the business and tourism enclave hosted the first full marathon event to be held in the Philippines.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Wilma T. Eisma formally signalled the start for the full marathon that engaged participants in a challenging yet picturesque course in this free port.

“We are very elated over the fact that the first full marathon was held here in the Subic Bay Freeport,” Eisma said. “This is certainly a momentous occasion for us. Subic is now a glorious part of Philippine sports history.”

The Ironman Subic event featured a gruelling 3.8-km swim, 180-km bike, and 42-km run course that challenged even the toughest triathletes from all over the world.

But with hundreds of locals competing in the event, it also showed that the Filipinos are embracing the sport that has been around the Subic Bay Freeport for more than a decade.

“Competing in a full triathlon requires a high level of commitment from the athletes to train for long, hard hours for at least five months. And Century Tuna is proud to be at the forefront of promoting health and fitness in the country,” said Greg Banzon, vice president and general manager of Century Pacific Food, the event sponsor.

“The expected scale and scope of attention the event generated in the country and the global triathlon community gives us a very big stage to shout out our message of living a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise,” he added.

Around 830 local triathletes competed in the event that also drew bets from 47 countries, including 78 each from China and Japan, 54 from the United States, 47 from Singapore and 29 from Australia. Great Britain and Northern Ireland also fielded a combined 18-triathlete delegation while Korean sent in 16.

The race started at Subic’s Triboa Bay with the swim leg of the event at the ACEA Resort before the field tackled the 2-loop bike race at the Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). It was capped by a punishing 2-loop marathon along the coast of Subic Bay.

The holding of the full distance Ironman in the Philippines was a significant leap for the development of the sport in the region, said Ironman Asia Managing Director Geoff Meyer.

“The past decade has been an extraordinary achievement of growth of Ironman and triathlon in the Philippines, and is a true testament to all Filipinos who are now largely represented at races all over the world. I am incredibly proud of what Ironman and Sunrise Events team have achieved together, and of the community of triathletes who have been part of the journey,” said Meyer. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)


[1] SEA Games triathlon champ Nikko Huelgas waves the Philippine flag to send off a batch of triathletes in the 2018 Ironman Subic Bay on Sunday. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[2] Indonesian Andy Wibowo makes a wet finish to top the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 event at the Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[3] SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma joins the awarding of winners in age-group categories for Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

[4] Runners in “underwear fashion” take to the streets on Saturday during the 2018 edition of the Century Tuna Underpants Run, a side event in the Ironman 70.3 triathlon event held in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)

31 May 2018

Over 1,200 triathletes from 47 countries seeing action in Subic Bay for Ironman

WHILE the elite pros are expected to finish it in over eight hours or so, the bulk of the brave 1,268 participants from 47 countries brace for a grueling race that could stretch into the night when the first Century Tuna Ironman fires off on Sunday in Subic.

Cutoff for the 3.8-kilometer swim is two hours and 20 minutes, and a 10-hour 30-minute limit has been set for the 180km bike ride, and 17 hours to finish the 42.95km closing run.

Seven each in the men’s and women’s sides will slug it out for the coveted crown in the centerpiece Pro division while two in each category are vying in the Asian Elite.

But focus will also be on the 11 age group divisions, which drew the bulk of the Ironman participants.

Two hundred ninety nine are entered in the 40-44 age class, including 266 in the men’s side, while 280, including 257 in the men’s, are entered in the 45-49 category. The 35-39 group has 248 entries while the 30-34 and 50-54 classes drew 151 and 122 participants, respectively.

Ironman legends Dave Scott of the US and Craig Alexander will hold a meet-and-greet session on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Shangri-La at The Fort.

“Everybody’s got that mixed feelings rush heading to the event – thrilled yet wary. But it will certainly be a unique feeling for every full Ironman finisher, a combination of relief, fatigue, joy, this being the first full Ironman to be staged here,” said Sunrise Events, Inc. general manager Princess Galura.

After holding three 5150 and Ironman 70.3 races, Century Tuna is putting up the Ironman in partnership with SEI.

“The last three years, we saw our Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 races sold to almost full capacity, proving that the Philippine triathlon community has grown and progressed," said Greg Banzon, vice president and general manager of Century Pacific Food Inc.

Other backers of the event are venue hosts Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and ACEA Subic Bay, bike leg racing partner NLEX and SCTEX, courier and logistics partner Black Arrow Express, footwear sponsor Hoka One One, hydration partners Gatorade and Aquafina, swim cap TYR, energy gel Gu and bike mechanics Storck. Also supporting the event are David’s Salon, Intercare and Prudential Guarantee, Hyper HD on Cignal, The Philippine Star, Trilife,Asiatri.com and Finisherpix, Alcoplus, Cetaphil, Devant, Ford, PLDT, Regent, Sanicare and Timex, Active Network, and ACEA, Best Western Plus, Court Meridian, The Lighthouse, Mansion Garden Hotel, The Villas, Subic Bay Peninsular, Subic Bay Yacht Club and Subic Holiday Villas.


Triathletes race towards Subic Bay waters for the swim event of Century Tuna IRONMAN held in March last year.


17 May 2018

SBMA suspends Hanjin sub-contractor over fatal accident

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against a sub-contractor of Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation (HHIC) (Philippines) following the death of a shipyard worker over the weekend.

According to Dr. Solomon Jacalne, head of the SBMA Public Health and Safety Department, the Subic agency has suspended the operation of the erring sub-contractor while it coordinates corrective measures with HHIC management.

The name of the sub-contractor has been withheld pending the release of official results of the investigation into the mishap.

Initial investigation report submitted to Jacalne indicated that the incident happened last Saturday, May 12, at around 3:30 p.m. on board a project vessel of the sub-contractor inside the HHIC shipyard at the Redondo Peninsula here.

Nine workers were reportedly assigned to do some work atop a scaffolding on the side of a vessel, but because of the intense heat of the sun, all nine workers sheltered under a canvas canopy.

However, one of the bolts in the scaffolding snapped, causing the platform to tip down.

Five of the workers were able to hold tight onto the platform and were later rescued. However, four others fell into the ground and sustained severe injuries.

The injured were identified as Ferdinand Leuterio, 38, a native of Leyte; Johnny Alegre, 39, from Quezon City; Gerry Bayuta, 34, of Tarlac; and Valian Dela Cruz, 39, of Zambales, all temporary residing in Castillejos, Zambales.

They were brought to Bay Pointe Hospital in the Subic Bay Freeport for further medical treatment.

However, at about 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Leuterio’s condition began deteriorating. He was later pronounced dead at around 9:00 a.m. on Monday.

Jacalne said he had ordered the sub-contractor to stop operation until the company met with the SBMA Occupational Health and Safety Division and corrective measures were put in place.

“We have to look at possible negligence, on why the accident had happened,” Jacalne said. “We have to ensure that those mistakes were corrected and would not happen again.”

Jacalne said the company had informed the SBMA that it voluntarily applied corrective actions to prevent secondary accidents, and sought close coordination with the workers’ families to give necessary assistance. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


Aerial view of the shipbuilding facility of HHIC-Phils at the Redondo Peninsula in Subic Bay Freeport.

15 May 2018

Ironman to showcase Pinoys’ passion

The upcoming Century Tuna full Ironman Philippines will not only serve as the ultimate test in endurance racing but will also showcase the Filipino triathletes’ passion in the sport before the world through the finisher’s medal when it is held June 3 in Subic.

The sponsoring Century Tuna and organizing Sunrise Events, Inc. have collaborated to come up with a unique medal billed as the “Alab ng Puso” to be awarded to the elite international cast vying in the first-ever full triathlon in the country.

Created by noted designer Daniel de la Cruz, the memento will underscore the local triathletes passion in the sport with Subic also serving as one of the country’s top training grounds. It will depict the commitment of the intrepid 1,200 triathletes from around the world gearing up for the punishing 3.8km swim-180km bike-42km run event.

The first full Ironman, backed by title sponsor Century Tuna and presented by Alaska, Tourism Promotions Board and Department of Tourism, also serves as a fitting event for SEI’s 10th anniversary celebrations and a decade of Ironman staging in the country.

De la Cruz is known for his natural artistic skills and his expert use of diverse materials. In fact, he was the first Filipino designer to develop ceramic collections for the prestigious company Villeroy & Boch in Germany.

The official design of the “Alab ng Puso” medal actually remains under wraps but it will resemble the triangle part of the Philippine flat with the sun and three stars. Moreover, the lace to be used will be created by the dream weavers from Marawi City.

“As a brand at the forefront of promoting health and fitness, Century Tuna is very proud to be the lead sponsor of the first full distance Ironman in the country. The expected scale and scope of attention the event will generate in the country and the global triathlon community gives us a very big stage to shout out our message of living a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise,” said Greg Banzon, vice president and general manager of Century Pacific Food, makers of Century Tuna.

Other backers of the event are venue hosts Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and ACEA Subic Bay, bike leg racing partner NLEX Corp., official courier and logistics partner AAI Holdings, official footwear sponsor Hoka One One, official hydration partners Gatorade and Aquafina, official swim cap TYR, official energy gel Gu, official bike mechanics Storck; David’s Salon, Intercare and Prudential Guarantee (major sponsors), Hyper HD on Cignal, The Philippine Star, Trilife, Asiatri.com and Finisherpix (media partners), Alcoplus, Cetaphil, Crampfix, Devant, Ford, PLDT, Regent, Sanicare, and Timex (marketing sponsors), Active Network (registration partner), and ACEA, Best Western Plus, Court Meridian, The Lighthouse, Mansion Garden Hotel, The Villas, Subic Bay Peninsular, Subic Bay Yacht Club and Subic Holiday Villas (official hotels). (SNL)