SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced that it posted a total of P202 million in revenue from trade facilitation and compliance fees collected last year from importers, brokers, processors, and other stakeholders in this free port.
SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said that based on the annual report submitted by SBMA's Trade and Facilitation and Compliance Department (TFCD), the department’s revenue for 2015 represented an increase of P51 million, or 34 percent, compared to the P151 million recorded in 2014.
Garcia said the increase in earnings is the direct result of the implementation of key objectives and strategies in all SBMA departments to deliver the best services to clients and to sustain the agency’s positive performance in the last three years.
The measures include promotion of good governance, where SBMA has institutionalized the integrity pledge (IP) among employees in support of the agency’s crusade against graft and corruption; transparency in communicating with importers, brokers, processors, and other stakeholders through consultative meetings; and fiscal responsibility by implementing stricter collection procedures and monitoring of the same.
“The satisfaction of our locators and investors with regards to the services they received from SBMA is to some measure reflected on the upward movement in our statistics,” Garcia explained.
“It’s good to know that the figures are all positive,” he added.
TFCD officer-in-charge Anna Joy Quito meanwhile said that better service to customers had, indeed, resulted in better earnings for the department.
She said that export value freight on board (FOB) reached a total of US$2.52 billion in 2015, which is 11 percent higher than the US$2.26 billion in 2014.
Quito explained that under SBMA’s good governance initiatives, the department has succeeded in providing services in a much shorter period of time than the minimum requirement.
She cited as example that while the target time for issuing an admission permit from time of application is 16 hours, the department has lately managed to shorten this to an average of 7.9 hours, or a decrease in processing time of 51 percent.
Another area where the TFCD successfully introduced faster processing time is in Export Declaration clearance, where actual processing time is now 30 minutes, or down by 94 percent from the target time of eight hours.
Quito added that the department will conduct benchmarking with other ports and ecozones in the country to establish and adopt best practices in trade facilitation to increase further the efficiency of the Subic port.
The TFCD facilitates admission of goods into the Subic Bay Freeport through efficient delivery of frontline services, such as processing of permits on imports and exports, and keeping locators or investors in step with all procedural guidelines implemented by the SBMA. (30)