24 May 2012

SBMA, LGUs take part in open space technology workshop

Taking up the challenge of President Aquino in forging a social contract with the local community, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) met with neighboring local government units (LGUs) in an Open Space Technology Workshop held on May 19-20 at the Subic Bay International Hotel.

The workshop was an open-type of seminar wherein the participants themselves determined the agenda that would be up for discussion the following day. It was facilitated by Greg Forbes, a consultant at the Office of the President-Adviser on Peace Process.

According to SBMA director Bienvenido Benitez, the workshop aims for transformational leadership, institutional reform, economic stability and inclusive growth in the province of Zambales and Bataan, the municipalities of Subic, Hermosa and Morong, and Olongapo City. These are the communities that will be greatly affected by the current developments in the Freeport.

“Hopefully we will find a common denominator amongst us, and we will pursue that common denominator. It could be about environmental issues, industrial issues, eco-tourism, housing, or education. Maraming mga field ang maaring lumabas,” Benitez said.

Benitez also mentioned that the SBMA board of directors had recently created a community program aptly named Project Unity, which endeavors to create synergy and development and promote investment projects that have larger multiplier effects on local economies.

“Its underlying goal is promoting inclusive growth and progress that will ultimately lead to poverty reduction and translate into a stronger platform for sustainable sub-regional development,” Benitez further noted, adding that the committee has already met with the LGUs to discuss issues concerning their respective communities.

For his part, SBMA chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia said that the Open Space Technology Workshop is an opportunity to create rapport with the communities surrounding the Subic Freeport.

“’Yung SBMA at ‘yung mga LGUs, hindi naman tayo magkaiba ng layunin,” Garcia pointed out. “Dapat sama-sama tayo dito. Kaya ‘yung kaunlarang mangyayari dito sa loob ng SBMA, ang gusto namin kasama kayo.”

Garcia then stressed the importance of letting the LGUs be aware of developments inside the Freeport.
“Importanteng malaman ninyo ang direksyon ng SBMA para sa ganun, kayo naman sa inyong pag-paplano tignan ninyo kung saan tayo pupuwedeng magkapit-bisig at gumawa ng hakbang,” he said.

Garcia said that he had already talked with some of the LGUs regarding projects that will benefit both the Freeport and the local communities. (FMD/MPD-SBMA)

SBMA chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia asks for support from neighboring local government units during the Open Space Technology Workshop at the Subic Bay Freeport.