SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has urged local government units (LGUs) surrounding the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) to start developing industrial parks due to increasing demand for bigger land areas from new investors.
In a meeting with municipal mayors and other officials and members of the SBMA Board of Directors, SBMA Administrator Wilma Amy Eisma suggested that each contiguous LGU should start developing industrial parks to accommodate local and foreign investors.
Eisma said there is practically no more land space available for new investors who are looking for large areas for their new facilities inside the fenced areas, compelling the SBMA to endorse them to other areas in Clark or Bataan and lose supposedly additional revenue for Subic. Fenced areas refer to vicinities formerly occupied by the US Naval Base.
The proposal to extend the fenced area to contiguous LGUs is contained in Executive Order 675 which took effect as early as November 2007, amending EO97-A allowing local government unit officials, through the approval of the Sangguniang Panglungsod or Pambayan, to declare any parts of their jurisdiction as additional secured areas or additional areas of the Subic Bay Special Economic and Freeport Zone (SSEFPZ) which shall be organized, administered, managed and operated directly by the SBMA.
“Unless the LGUs start planning for the extension of the fenced areas now, LGU shares from SBMA may be affected. If we could not accept new investors, the LGU shares from SBMA would not improve and may even diminish,” she noted.
She stated that the extension of the fenced areas may not be implemented during her term, but it would be beneficial if the LGUs start drafting their respective master plans.
The SBMA Administrator urged the local officials not to wait for SBMA to act on it. “Please do not wait for us to act. The initiatives must start from the LGUs and we, in SBMA, are here to help and assist in planning,” she said.
Eisma lauded San Antonio Mayor Estela Antipolo who already started planning for the development of some 10,000 hectares of land and water areas which are to be converted into the San Antonio Economic Development Area that will form part of the extension of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Through the San Antonio Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 13-080 which was passed in November 2013, parts of Sitio Silangin, Nagsasa and Talisayin, all located at the Redondo Peninsula will be granted tax and duty free privileges being an extension of the Subic Freeport.
SBMA is also expecting the same initiatives from the city of Olongapo, and the municipalities of Subic, Castillejos and San Marcelino in Zambales, and Morong, Dinalupihan and Hermosa in Bataan.
Earlier, SBMA distributed among the eight contiguous LGUs a total of P150. 47 Million in revenue shares for the second semester of 2016 which is 6.414% higher than the P141.397 million of first semester of 2015.
The LGU shares were derived from the five per cent (5%) of gross revenue paid to SBMA by locators and investors operating inside Subic Freeport. From the five percent GRT, three per cent goes to the national treasury, while the two per cent (2%) are distributed by SBMA among the eight LGUs for their community development projects including health, education, peace and order, and livelihood programs to enable these communities keep pace with developments in the special economic zone.
For the said semester, Olongapo City remains the highest recipient of the revenue share with P35.1 million, followed by the municipality of Subic with P22.96 million and Dinalupihan with P18.73 million.
Other municipalities were San Marcelino, P18.05M; Hermosa, P15.65M; Castillejos, P14M; Morong, P13.07M, and San Antonio, P12.92M. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)