13 June 2012

SBMA to require permit to operate from locators

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will begin strictly enforcing on July 1 the requirement for all business locators in this free port to secure a permit to operate (PTO).

According to Stefani Saño, SBMA senior deputy administrator for business and investment development, the agency will require all locators to comply with this regulation in view of recent findings that some locators have begun operation when they have yet to comply with all the requirements.

“If you don’t have a permit to operate, you have no business operating in the Subic Bay Freeport. The rule is, you need to comply first,” Saño stressed.

“This new system is not only beneficial to the government; it is also for the protection and for the interest of private businesses here,” he added.

Saño explained that in the existing system, the Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption (CRTE) given to new locators before they open their business is also being considered as PTO. However, as the CRTE does not spell out other requirements, like an environmental compliance certificate, the system allowed some businesses to go around these requirements.

“The new board of directors saw this flaw, so we would have to change the system and stress compliance first before operation,” he added.

Saño said the SBMA had conducted a public forum with the business community on May 31 in order to enlighten Subic Freeport locators about the new permitting system.

He added that the new business permit will be implemented by the SBMA in addition to the current regulatory requirements already in existence.

“If the businesses are compliant, the system is sustainable because there is order. This is the principle behind this,” Saño also said. (FMD/MPD-SBMA)