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Subic Freeport to undergo facelift to attract more visitors
Sep 17, 2014

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced a major initiative to improve facilities and enhance the natural beauty of this free port with the end in view of boosting the tourism industry here.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the agency's "Operation Facelift" is designed to bring Subic at par with other tourist attractions in like Singapore and Guam.

Garcia noted that the Subic Bay Freeport is known for its natural assets like the lush rain forests, pristine beaches, and native wildlife that lure tourists into the area.

"However, as years went by, some of the structures and spaces seem to have been neglected or left unattended and have become eyesores," he said.

Garcia noted that the American military, which previously occupied the Subic Naval Base, had kept the area as a beautiful and comfortable place to relaxation.

"Even after the Americans had left, people from all over the country came to see and enjoy Subic, especially when investors came and built theme parks, hotels and restaurants, and duty-free stores and malls," he said.

Garcia added that for its natural and man-made attractions, Subic has been named by the Department of Tourism (DoT) in October 2012 as its unequivocal choice as the "Premier Convention Capital of Central Luzon".

In December 2012, Subic was also identified by the DoT "as one of the Top Destinations in the Country" due to its wide array of quality tourist facilities and the high level of visitation it generated.

Garcia said that "Operation Facelift would bring back the natural beauty of Subic that tourists and local residents have come to love and be proud of".

He said the tourism development program will also inject technology into the system, like replacing grasses with the low-maintenance "frog grass" variety and planting selected species of trees that need little maintenance.

"Honestly, SBMA cannot do this alone; that is why we welcome everyone who would volunteer to help in this endeavor", Garcia said.

"We hope that volunteers from companies, civic organizations and schools, as well as residents, would help us in painting street curbs, planting trees and flowering plants, repainting building walls, and cleaning the streets", he added.

Garcia also enjoined business locators and residents in the Freeport to support the beautification drive by keeping their areas orderly and clean.

"These little tasks mean a lot because, taken together, they would make for a cleaner, more beautiful, more attractive and more marketable Subic", Garcia added. (30)

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