16 March 2010

Refurbished golf course to revive Subic airport

Subic Golf Course operator Hanafil Golf and Tour Inc. will revive the Subic Bay International Airport by bringing in more foreign golfers once the golfing facility is finished.

The company plans to resume its junket flights after golf course stakeholder Hanatour, South Korea’s largest tourism company, pledged to bring in tourists directly to Subic.

“We are planning to use the SBIA and a partner airline company with low cost fares to bring in more golfers from other countries. The golf course was designed to handle 180 golfers a day, and that number will expand once we add nine more holes in the next phase of the development,” Hanafil President and CEO Benjamin John Defensor III said.

Currently, the company has completed 40 percent of the reconstruction process for the course.

“That includes the reshaping of the greens and fairways of the first nine holes to make it flow better,” Defensor said.

“Current improvements are the eco-friendly irrigation system that uses recycled water, brand new nursery that can use salt water and the drainage system that was replaced to accommodate the volume of rainfall come this rainy season.”

“But these renovations are not just for new members; the company is also accommodating all previous members of the golf club as long as they update their accounts and coordinate with us and the SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority),” Defensor said.

An agreement was signed recently between the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the SBMA and Clark Development Corporation (CDC) that would allow visa-free entry to foreigners visiting the two free ports.

Under the agreement signed by Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan with SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza and CDC President Benigno Ricafort, officers and personnel of foreign locators in the two free ports may now enter and stay in the country without a visa for a period of 14 days.

The privilege, however, will only be extended to those arriving through the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) or the SBIA. (Jonas Reyes, Manila Bulletin)