January 11, 2018

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) ended the past year with P1.2 billion in revenue generated from its seaport operations, posting a 3-percent annual increase on account of a 12-percent hike in the volume of containerized cargo processed in the Subic port.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the SBMA Seaport Department collected a total of P1,173,720,042 in revenue in the January-to-December period last year, compared to the P1.137 billion it made in 2016.

Eisma also attributed the growth in seaport income to “the continuing effort of the SBMA Seaport Department to upgrade its process flow.” She said this has minimized transaction time and attracted more importers and exporters to use the Port of Subic.

SBMA seaport figures indicated the volume of containerized cargo grew to 139,980 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2017, from just 124,707, TEUs in 2016.

This increase in containerized cargo had reportedly offset a 6-percent decrease last year in the volume of noncontainerized cargo, which fell to only 6,646,322 metric tons as against 7,071,444 metric tons in 2016.

SBMA data also showed that its Seaport Department processed 66,172 TEUs of imported containerized products in 2017, a 9-percent increase over the 60,593 TEUs processed in 2016.

Meanwhile, the department processed 25,007 TEUs of exported containerized products last year, which was 6 percent higher than the 23,527 TEUs in 2016.

The increase in import-export volume that passed through the Port of Subic also resulted in a significant increase of containerized cargoes transshipped in the free port: 1,462 TEUs from January to December 2017 against 368 TEUs in 2016, or an increase of 297 percent.

Jerome Martinez, head of the SBMA Seaport Department, said much of the increase in revenue was due to the growth in imported products like vehicle parts by Foton Motor Philippines Inc.; paper materials by Trust International Paper Corp.; and rubber by Yokohama Tire Philippines Inc., which were all sourced from Japan.

He said an increase in export revenue could also be attributed to increased export of tires by Yokohama Tires Philippines to Japan; Juken Sangyo Philippines for veneer lumber also to Japan; and HLD Clark Steel Pipe Co. for steel pipes to the United States.

Another factor in seaport revenue growth, Martinez said, was the implementation of Republic Act 10668, also known as the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act, which allowed arriving or departing ships to carry a foreign cargo to its Philippine port of final destination, after being cleared at its port of entry or exit.

“This law tends to decrease, in some instances, vessel activities going to the Port of Subic, particularly in the importation and exportation of goods,” Martinez said.

“However, transshipment activities also increased.”

The devaluation of the peso against the US dollar and the unstable global price of crude oil in the world market, which caused a decline of the importation of petroleum products, also buoyed Subic seaport income, Martinez added.

Eisma expressed optimism for the Port of Subic this year, pointing out that one of the world’s largest cruise ships will be arriving here in June for a 12-hour tour of the Subic Bay area.

Eisma said the cruise-vacation giant Royal Caribbean International had confirmed this development after company officials led by Dr. Zinan Liu spent a two-day assessment of the Subic Bay area last December for the purpose of including Subic in the itinerary of RCI’s Asian cruise program.

(c) Henry Empeño




The World Bank expects the Philippines to sustain robust economic growth in the next three years even as public investments are seen slowing down.

“The Philippines will continue to be the fastest-growing economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), despite some stabilization of investment growth,” the Washington-based multilateral lender said in its January 2018 Global Economic Prospects report released Wednesday morning (Philippine time).

The World Bank projected the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 6.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, before slightly slowing to 6.5 percent in 2020.

The World Bank’s forecasts for the next three years were nonetheless below the government’s target range of 7-8 percent annual GDP growth from 2018 to 2022.

“In some Asean economies, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, supportive monetary policy had spurred investment and, hence, capital accumulation in the wake of the global financial crisis,” the World Bank said.

“Rapid capital accumulation has also reflected infrastructure upgrades. In the Philippines, improved macroeconomic policy management and the government’s public-private partnership initiative have boosted capital accumulation,” the lender added.

However, the World Bank sees a slowing pace of capital accumulation reducing potential growth in the East Asia and Pacific region.

“The steepest slowdowns in capital accumulation are expected in China, where policy efforts to rein in credit growth continue, and the Philippines, where a surge in public investment is expected to fade,” it said.

The World Bank said the Philippines could finance its sizeable infrastructure investment needs by raising additional revenues.

In December, the World Bank raised its 2017 growth forecast to 6.7 percent from the previous projection of 6.6 percent as part of its quarterly forecast exercise to reflect recent economic trends.

The revised 2017 forecast remained within the government target of 6.5-7.5 percent.

The government will announce the 2017 fourth-quarter and full-year GDP performance later this month.

The economy grew by an average of 6.7 percent in the first three quarters of last year.

“In the Philippines, growth decelerated slightly to a still-solid 6.7 percent as the impact of election-related spending in 2016 dissipated,” the World Bank noted in the report.

(c) Ben O. de Vera
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Updated December 31, 2017, 4:45 PM

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Around P40-million worth of liquor was seized by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) during a smuggling attempt on Christmas Eve inside this premier Freeport.

According to SBMA Chair Wilma Eisma, the SBMA Law Enforcement Department seized a total of 1,321 boxes of expensive liquor from a closed van that was about to leave Subic Bay Freeport through the 14th gate on December 24. She added that a 40-footer container van parked at the Subic Seaport Terminal was also seized as part of the smuggling attempt.

“Some unscrupulous parties wanted to take advantage of the Christmas season to try to pull away illegal activities in the Freeport, but this only proves that the SBMA Law Enforcement Department is ready at all times to do its duty,” Eisma said after receiving the report.

“This is a job well done by the SBMA and another huge failure for those who try to use Subic for their smuggling operation,” Eisma added.

According to a report by Maj. Vicente Tolentino, head of the SBMA Law Enforcement Department, the seized contraband included 54 bottles of Remy Martin Louis XIII, and eight boxes of Remy Martin Centaure De Diamant.

Tolentino said the SBMA police began the operation on Christmas Eve after a tipster informed them that a closed van and a Nissan Patrol SUV would attempt to smuggle contraband from the Freeport.

He said that operatives posted along the Argonaut Highway monitored the vehicles and tailed them to the 14th Street Gate where they were stopped by sentries.

The Fuso van, bearing File No. 036404 of BCR Trucking, was driven by 41-year old Julio Flores, along with helper Marvin Arcega, 46 years old. The two failed to present necessary documents when accosted by the police, Tolentino said.

The van contained 275 boxes of Remy Martin Cognac Champagne, 448 boxes of Martini, 66 boxes of Remy Martin XO, 17 boxes of Remy Martin Champagne, 8 boxes of Remy Martin Louis XIII, 8 boxes of Remy Martin Centaure De Diamant, 7 boxes of Remy Martin Club, and 7 boxes of Remy Martin.

A follow-up operation on Thursday led operatives to a white Isuzu Giga cab with the markings “Sinfa Logistics Inc.”, which was parked at the Subic Seaport Terminal in the Boton Wharf.

The 40-footer container van on its trailer contained the rest of the contraband: 333 boxes of Remy Martin, 196 boxes of Remy Martin XO, 1 box of Remy Martin Club, 1 box of Martini, 2 boxes of Remy Martin, and 10 boxes of Remy Martin Louis XIII.

Tolentino said the SBMA police conducted an inventory of the smuggled items last Thursday and Friday in the presence of representatives from the Bureau of Customs, the SBMA Seaport Department and members of the media.

On Friday, Tolentino formally turned over the items and the vehicles containing them to Ciriaco Ugay, OIC-Collector of the Bureau of Customs in the Port of Subic.

(c) Jonas Reyes


The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has given all registered aliens until March 1, 2018, to report to the agency and be accounted for as mandated by law.

The agency’s Annual Report 2018 will run from Jan. 1 to March 1 next year, during which all registered aliens should report in person to the BI at Intramuros, Manila, or its field offices.

The agency made the announcement in an advisory dated Dec. 13 posted on its website,

Under Republic Act No. 562 or the Alien Registration Act of 1950, registered aliens must personally report to the BI within the first 60 days of each year.

The annual report aims to verify if the visa holder is still alive and to allow them to correct their entries in the registration such as address, civil status or surnames for those who got married.

Registered aliens will be required to present their Alien Certificate of Registration and a confirmation number issued via the Annual Report 2018 online system.

The confirmation number is for aliens who failed to accomplish the Annual Report forms for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In the 2017 annual report, a total of 106,036 foreigners presented themselves before the BI and its field offices in compliance with the required annual report.

Last year’s turnout was 11 percent higher than 2016’s 95,007 foreigners who complied with that year’s annual report.

The BI said parents or legal guardians of registered aliens 14 years old and below were given the duty of reporting for their minor’s charges before the BI.

Also exempt from personal appearance are those who are 65 years old and above, and those who are mentally or physically incapacitated.

An alien who returns to the Philippines with a reentry permit and who has not accomplished the annual report is also required to report within 30 days from the date of return to the country.

(c) Julie M. Aurelio
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What does the tax reform bill mean for me?

Updated 18:41 PM PHT Mon, December 18, 2017


Tax reform is about simplifying the tax code and lowering taxes on beneficial activities while reducing tax leakages, or loss of revenue, and raising taxes on harmful activities. Illustration by JL JAVIER

Editor’s note: Pierre Martin Reyes is a lawyer, a tax law professor at the Far Eastern University Institute of Law, and a consultant of the Office of the Senate President. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), the first package of the Duterte administration’s comprehensive tax reform program, is almost at its final station. With the ratification by the House and Senate of its final version last week, the bill now moves to the President for his signature. In the coming days, we can expect to hear plenty of analysis and comments from various perspectives as to how it impacts the Filipino people and the economy. To that, I offer my point of view.

Tax reform is about simplifying the tax code and lowering taxes on beneficial activities while reducing tax leakages, or loss of revenue, and raising taxes on harmful activities. Here’s what TRAIN does towards that end.

First, the reform increases the income tax exemption threshold and adjusts the income tax rates and tax brackets to ensure that Filipinos will have higher disposable income. It is a realization that the economy cannot grow and prosper by squeezing out taxes from the middle class. Instead, government must reinvigorate and expand the middle class as a bedrock of prosperity.

The tax reform program now exempts from income tax those with an annual taxable income of not over ₱250,000. Under the existing tax code, those earning over ₱500,000 a year are paying the same rate as high-income earners at ₱125,000 plus 32% of the excess over ₱500,000. Under TRAIN, those earning ₱400,000 but not over ₱800,000 would be paying income tax at ₱30,000 plus 25% of the excess over ₱400,000. Beginning 2023, the rates will automatically adjust to further lower the income tax rates. The exemption of 13 month pay and other bonuses has likewise been increased from ₱82,000 to ₱90,000.

Second, TRAIN introduces an optional flat tax or a single rate of income tax to give relief to self-employed and professionals (SEPs). The current tax code disfavors the self-employed and professionals. It’s about time that government gives them, particularly small business owners, a boost and put them at the heart of our economy.

Ultimately, it is about choice — giving taxpayers greater control over how their hard-earned money is saved or spent.

Previously, self-employed and professionals pay income tax at the same five to thirty-percent income tax schedule. With the new program, those with gross sales or gross receipts that do not exceed the new value-added tax (VAT) threshold of ₱3,000,000 have the option to use the new tax schedule or an eight percent flat tax on gross sales or receipts in excess of ₱250,000. If they choose the eight percent flat tax, they will be exempt from the three percent percentage tax. Regardless of their choice, SEPs whose gross sales or receipts do not exceed ₱500,000 will be exempt from the three percent  percentage tax.

Third, the new program lowers the estate tax rate to a single rate of six percent with a standard deduction of ₱5,000,000 and a family home exemption of up to ₱10,000,000. The estate tax can now be paid within a year and an installment within two years is provided. Furthermore, the heirs can now withdraw from the decedent’s bank accounts provided they pay a withholding tax. These reforms ensure that capital will not be locked in unsettled estates and enable heirs to leverage inherited property into wealth.

Fourth, the new tax program makes significant headway in reducing the tax leakages caused by the multitude of VAT exemptions in our tax system. Tax leakages pertain to revenue losses due to loopholes in a tax system such as special treatments to various industries in the form of VAT exemptions. While TRAIN repeals 54 of these exemptions, government should continue to reduce, or better yet, eliminate these special treatments to keep the VAT system as simple and efficient as it was intended to be. As a principle, only those VAT exemptions where the benefits to society exceed the costs of the foregone revenue should remain. Thus, TRAIN retains the exemption granted to senior citizens and persons with disabilities, increases the VAT exemption on monthly rentals from ₱10,000 to ₱15,000, and exempts the sale of drugs and medicines prescribed for diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.

Finally, this new tax reform seeks to generate revenue by increasing or imposing tax on activities that cause undue harm. Excise taxes are taxes paid on the production, sale or consumption of particular commodities or activities. Other than generating revenue, these are used as tools to influence social behavior. Considering their environmental impact, TRAIN doubles the mining taxes and increases the coal tax from ₱10 per metric ton to ₱50-₱100-₱150 on a three-year period. This modest coal tax increase will have minimal impact on electricity prices but will be sufficient enough to encourage investments in renewable energy.

Tax reform is a continuous process, not a one-time event.

TRAIN also increases the excise taxes on petroleum products in staggered amounts in a three-year period and the excise tax on automobiles while providing incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles. This is to promote eco-friendly vehicles and to steer the shift from private to public transport in line with the government’s investments in transport infrastructure.

Under the new tax program, cigarettes and sweetened beverages will become more expensive. The excise taxes on cigarettes will gradually increase from the current ₱30 per pack to ₱32.50 next year and as high as ₱40 in 2020 while a new excise tax on sweetened beverages is introduced at either ₱6 or ₱12 per liter depending on the sweetener used. This is to promote a healthy lifestyle by discouraging smoking and the high consumption of sweetened beverages.

TRAIN also imposes an excise tax on invasive cosmetic procedures, surgeries and body enhancements which are directed solely to improve, alter or enhance one’s appearance and which do not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease. While such procedures do not directly harm others, harm is caused because it sets standards of beauty that people must now spend on.

Various safeguards have been introduced on these impositions to mitigate any adverse impact, such as suspension of petroleum excise tax increases if price of oil reaches $80 per barrel, key exemptions for sweetened beverages, and other social measures.

Ultimately, it is about choice — giving taxpayers greater control over how their hard-earned money is saved or spent.

Could more have been done better? Certainly. The new tax reform program is not perfect, but it must be viewed in the context of a comprehensive tax reform plan. Tax reform is a continuous process, not a one-time event. As one proverb says, “To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.” It is the initial step towards a fairer, simpler, and more efficient tax system, and the next train is on its way.

(c) Pierre Martin Reyes


December 11, 2017


Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), along with SBMA Seaport Marketing Manager Ronnie Yambao (right), discusses expansion plans for the Port of Subic with Los Angeles Port Authority Trade Development Director Jim MacLellan during a recent Philippine trade mission to the United States.

Story and photo by Henry Empeño | Correspondent

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—At least two major investment projects from Filipino-American companies are now being targeted by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) following talks with the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC) during a weeklong swing among key business centers in the United States last month.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, who joined the trade mission organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said the Subic agency aims to tap FPACC members to gain fresh key investment packages for the industrial and maritime sectors in the Subic Bay Freeport.

She said that an estimated $1-billion investment is being considered by an American-Chinese venture to develop a portion of the Redondo Peninsula in Subic for a possible industrial, maritime and mixed-use complex.

The SBMA had recently revoked a $798-million solar and industrial-estate project that one company had proposed at Redondo due to the reported failure by the proponent to meet financial requirements, but the SBMA said it is open to new proposals.

Aside from this, Eisma said another FPACC member based in California is also planning a $20-million investment for a waste-to-energy project and related renewable-energy projects in the Subic Bay Freeport.

The FPACC, which has 42 chapters in the US and around 5,000 member-companies, bridges United States-Philippine trade and commerce, and promotes goodwill and mutually beneficial projects between the two countries.

Eisma was present when the FPACC renewed its memorandum of understanding with the PCCI on November  11 in a ceremony in Scottsdale, Arizona.

During the trade mission, Eisma signed an agreement with the Virginia Port Authority and worked out a similar agreement with the Los Angeles Port Authority, for the sharing of expertise in port development and the promotion of trade and commerce among the ports.

“It’s a very promising situation as far as the FPACC members are concerned, and we have at least two major investment prospects and two port agreements as a result of the trip,” Eisma said.

“We are looking forward to more engagement with these interested parties so that we can finally clinch a business deal with them,” she added.

In the same trade mission, Eisma also discussed some projects with Google for a seminar on robotics and artificial intelligence in Subic next year.

She said two technical supervisors from the Internet search giant will visit the Subic Freeport in June 2018 to teach students in and around the Subic community as part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility  program.

Eisma said this will be a significant development, as the SBMA plans to eventually develop in Subic a center of excellence in this field.

The SBMA official also gave interviews to two local media outfits—one based in Chicago on November 11, and another in Arizona on November  12 during the PCCI- FPACC event—on the success of the Subic Bay Freeport, which recently observed its 25th founding anniversary late last month.

In Chicago Eisma was chosen by a publication as finalist in the “Chicago Filipino-Asian American Hall of Fame Award in Government.”

(c) Henry Empeño


December 5, 2017


In Photo: Wilma T. Eisma, chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, expresses affection to elderly members of the Magbukun Ayta tribe during the launch of the Indigenous Communities Conservation Area in Morong, Bataan, last Saturday.

Story and photo by Henry Empeño | Correspondent

MORONG, Bataan—Ayta tribesmen in the remote upland communities of Morong town will receive full support from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in a conservation project designed to protect and preserve their indigenous environment and culture.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma gave this assurance during the launch last Saturday of the Indigenous Communities Conservation Area (ICCA) project here under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The project, which seeks to preserve spaces that are de facto governed by indigenous peoples or local communities and to promote the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, places the Magbukun Ayta tribe at the forefront of conservation efforts, since they live in the conservation site, which forms a part of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The project will be implemented with the support of the local government unit of Morong and the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, but the SBMA said it will provide support like it did for the Ambala Ayta tribe also located at the Hermosa, Bataan, side of the free port.

“We will be giving our all-out support to this endeavor, not only because the project will be implemented within the Freeport Zone but also because we at the SBMA consider environmental protection our fundamental advocacy,” Eisma said at the sidelines of the ceremony.

The SBMA official recalled the Subic agency has initiated the social-fencing concept at the free port to make residents of upland areas in the zone be part of the overall strategy to preserve Subic’s natural environment.

She noted the SBMA has been so successful in its development program with the Subic Ayta tribesmen that it was recognized recently as the best in social-responsibility initiative.

“What we have successfully done for the Pastolan Ayta tribe, we also hope to do with the Magbukun folk,” she said.

Under the ICCA program, residents living within or nearby the conservation area will serve as protectors of the environment, while the local government unit will take the lead in implementing conservation and protection activities.

The ICCA concept provides for the classification of the Magbukun territory as a sacred area or ritual ground for the indigenous community and may include forests, mountains, shorelines, wetlands, fishing areas and other bodies of water that the tribesmen use or inhabit.

The indigenous conservation areas under the UNDP concept may be situated in remote ecosystems with minimum human influence, or may encompass areas of various regulations and magnitudes within regions strongly affected or modified by human occupation.

The ICCA program is expected to result in the continuation, revival or modification of traditional practices, or even new initiatives for the protection and restoration of natural resources and cultural values in the face of new threats or opportunities.

(c) Henry Empeño


SBMA 25TH Anniversary

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Former workers of this former UN naval base on Friday recalled the “spirit of volunteerism” that helped turn the Subic Bay Freeport into a bustling economic zone.

One of them, Mercedes Washington, said during the 25th anniversary of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) that efforts of volunteers should not be forgotten as they had been part of the freeport’s history.

“The call of founding SBMA chair [now senator] Richard Gordon during that time was for Olongapo residents to unite and protect the military facilities left behind by the Americans. We heeded that call and the spirit of volunteerism began,” she said.

Then 24 years old, Washington joined 8,000 other volunteers, who safeguarded the $8-billion military facility left by the US Navy after the Philippine Senate rejected an extension of the military bases agreement in 1992.

Washington, now 49, said: “I was assigned to join a group of other volunteers to watch over a portion of lot that is now called Bicentennial Park. Despite the uncertainty of that time, we were able to protect the facilities from looters.”

She shared her experience before a crowd composed mostly of SBMA officials and employees. “I’m happy to see the fruit of the spirit of volunteerism. I’m hoping that it will never fade,” she said.

The anniversary celebration was also highlighted by the hoisting of the largest Philippine flag, with a height of 120 feet, which will permanently fly over Subic Bay.

Organizers said 94 feet of that span represents the 94 years of American occupation of Subic; the next 18 feet for the heads of states who attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference here in 1996; and the remaining eight feet for the 8,000 volunteers who helped preserve the facilities when the Americans withdrew in 1992.

Republic Act No. 8491, also known as the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, designates the Subic freeport as one of the places where the flag should be “permanently hoisted 24 hours a day and every day of the week,” said SBMA Chair and Administrator Wilma Eisma.

Eisma led the ceremonial unveiling of a National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) plaque which stipulates that the flag must always fly in Subic.

The plaque was installed at the base of the flagpole fronting the SBMA office on Waterfront Road here.—ALLAN MACATUNO
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Press Release
November 27, 2017

As the Subic Bay Freeport Zone commemorated its 25th founding anniversary on Friday, Senator Richard J. Gordon commended the volunteers for the successful creation of the Freeport from the ashes of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and the impending economic disaster brought about by the departure of the American military from Subic Bay.

Gordon said the people were the key that made Subic what it IS today – the framework for bases conversion in the country and one of the best examples of bases conversion ventures in the world, as international media described it shortly after its creation.

“Kung meron tayong Subic ngayon, it’s because of the people who volunteered. We were successful because of the many people who sacrificed themselves. At that time a lot of people were prejudiced against it. They didn’t think that people would come here without pay and put their future on the line and put their sacrifice as their capital so that we could have or make the future,” the Father of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said.

“So today, I congratulate you all. Pag nakikita ko ang volunteers, tumataba ang puso ko. Twenty-five years ago, we succeeded in turning a vision into reality. We did not let our fears stop us. We did not fear the future, instead we made the future our friend. And thus, we succeeded in showing the world that, together, we can move forward on our own and get the job done. We received no salary then, but we got an excessive amount of appreciation and, more importantly, respect from the Filipino people for what we were doing in Subic,” he added

Gordon recalled that aside from being afraid, their first battle was a battle of integrity, a battle against themselves to ensure that the base and its facilities and the equipment and furniture inside would be preserved and protected.

“That was the biggest struggle of all – to be able to win against ourselves and the temptation of bringing stuff out. And nobody took anything out. There was a lot of temptation but we prevailed over all of that and somehow the Almighty always protected us from hunger and made sure that we conquered our fear. I recall the exquisite joy and absolute pride as we celebrated our first year of victory over seemingly insurmountable odds, as we reveled over our collective achievements in writing the first few pages of Subic’s history as an emerging free port and special economic zone,” he said.

The founding chairman and administrator of SBMA also advised the agency’s current officials to keep on dreaming big for Subic and to remember that duty, dignity and determination, unity, cooperation, and love for country are the values that created the Freeport.

“And so, as the Subic community moves forward today, as you face more years and more challenges, do not forget the lessons of the past as you set your sights to tomorrow. Aim high. Look for a new abyss and dare to stand by its edge. Stare new fears in the face. Do these things, for that is how we built Subic then. And that is the only way you can build a better Subic today and in the coming years,” Gordon said. “Again, my gratitude goes to all the people who answered our call 25 years ago, and to those who followed in our path to make Subic work. We have set out to make a difference. And looking back now, we know that we have succeeded,” he added.

Learning from the experience of Sangley Point when the American military left the naval station, Gordon developed a master plan for the conversion of the Subic Naval Base into a Freeport years before the American military left the base. He said that with Olongapo, Subic and the other nearby provinces depending on the base for their livelihood, they would have to prepare for the time when the American military pulls out from Subic so that the people will not be left jobless.

When the last U.S. Navy helicopter carrier USS Belleau Wood sailed out of Subic Bay on November 24, 1992, Gordon, who was then mayor of Olongapo City, with 8,000 volunteers took over the facility to preserve and protect US$8 billion worth of property and facilities and started the conversion of the military base into a free port like Hong Kong and Singapore.

In the same year, Congress passed Republic Act 7227, known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, which created the SBMA to develop and manage the Freeport which provides tax and duty-free privileges and incentives to business locators in the special economic zone. Gordon became the first SBMA chairman.



April 29, 2014

Over the past couple of decades, scientists, researchers and educators have started changing the way they perceive and evaluate a person’s intelligence. Thanks to Daniel Goleman, Ph.D, a renowned psychologist who has written several books on the topic of emotional intelligence (EQ), the idea of grading a person’s EQ in addition to their IQ has become mainstream. Dr. Goleman has even posed that EQ is more important than IQ, and a debate on the topic has raged ever since.

IQ vs. Emotional Intelligence: What’s the Difference?

IQ stands for intelligence quotient, and it literally represents how academically intelligent a person is. To find a person’s IQ, they are given one of a number of standardized tests. Based on how well they perform, they are given a score, which is compared to other people in their age group. Those who rate well on IQ tests have been found to perform better academically, make more money and are generally healthier than those with low IQ scores.

EQ stands for emotional intelligence, and it relates to a person’s ability to perceive, control, evaluate and express emotions [1]. While those with high EQ scores may not have a great deal of technical or academic knowledge, they have been shown to perform better in the workplace than those with high IQ scores. Why? They are more aware of themselves, better able to regulate their actions, are better at owning responsibility, are motivated, and have empathy for others.

Why Your EQ Is More Important than Your IQ

While most researchers say that an individual’s performance in life is determined by both their IQ and EQ, there is evidence that IQ only accounts for a small percentage of that. Only around 10 to 25-percent of the equation in fact, which leaves EQ responsible for an incredible 75-percent or more of a person’s ability to succeed. For this reason, many companies have started giving applicants EQ tests before hiring them. Other companies have instituted EQ training programs in the workplace.

When I was in retail business, one of the rules I lived by when hiring someone for an entry level position was – “Hire for personality; train for skill”. That basically means that you can train someone in the technical skills they need to perform a job, but you can’t train a person’s personality.

Why the emphasis on EQ? Simply put, a person with a high EQ is better to work with in a team environment. They can relate to others and are more approachable.

Several studies have also shown that those with high EQ scores perform better in the workplace, make better leaders, are more self confident, are trustworthy, and are just more likeable than those with low scores. All of these factors lead to an increase in productivity and sales across the board.

The Five Categories of EQ

There are five categories of EQ, and once you understand them you will begin to realize why having a great deal of emotional intelligence makes a huge difference in how well someone performs in life and at work. Following are the five categories and how they affect one’s personality:

  1. Self Awareness – In order to control your emotions, you must be aware of them. This is where self awareness comes into play. Those who are self aware are able to tune into their emotions, which makes them more confident about what they can do and what they have to offer.
  2. Self Regulation – If you’re not in control of your emotions, you can become combative in the workplace or resistant to change. Those who can control their emotions, however, avoid the temptation to indulge impulses, take responsibility for their own actions, adapt well in the face of change, and are open to new ideas.
  3. Motivation – Those who are unmotivated rarely meet goals. However, motivated individuals are constantly striving to improve, to meet the next milestone. They are also less likely to get discouraged when faced with setbacks or opposition. Motivated individuals make great salespeople and are often the morale boosters of an organization.
  4. Empathy – Empathy is the ability to recognize how people feel and how your actions can affect them. Those with empathy are perfect for the service sector, and they also make great mediators and negotiators. Since they can pick up on how others feel, they are in a better position to motivate them.
  5. Social Skills – Social skills are important regardless of what type of career you have. Successful people communicate effectively. Great communicators are needed for conflict management, team management, leadership roles, and tasks where cooperation is necessary.

As you can see, there are several areas where your EQ determines how successful you’ll become in the workplace. You can also see how these five categories can affect your personal life as well. In a world where most knowledge is only a Google search away, emotional intelligence has taken on greater significance, and we’re likely to continue to see employers looking for these skills rather than technical knowledge. Which truly makes emotional intelligence more important than IQ in today’s world.

(c) Kathy M.