SBMA prepares for 25th founding anniversary


The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is preparing for a grand celebration this year in connection with its silver anniversary this coming November.

According to SBMA Administrator & CEO Wilma T. Eisma, agency officials have approved a month-long schedule of activities to mark the organization’s 25th year of existence and the establishment of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, now considered as one of the best success stories of military base conversion in the world.

“Turning 25 is a very special milestone, and so we are going for some very special program for the SBMA,” said Eisma, an Olongapo City native who was among the legendary volunteers that helped protect and preserve Subic Bay facilities after the U.S. Navy withdrew its forces here in 1992.

“Subic has come a very long way—thanks to the sacrifice and hard work of a lot of people over the years, and honoring these people for what they did will be a big part of the celebration,” she added.


The celebration will carry the theme “SBMA at 25: Celebrating the Past, Forging the Nation’s Future.”

Under a program prepared by the SBMA 25th Anniversary Celebration Committee, activities will start on November 6 with a flag-raising ceremony at Bldg. 229, which is the SBMA main office, followed by a motorcade around Subic’s Central Business District.

All the while, some aircraft will undertake streamer and confetti drops, while boats will execute water cannon salutes at the bay.

Also on the first day of celebration, the SBMA Labor Department, in collaboration with registered business locators in the Subic Bay Freeport, will hold a job fair to match job-seekers with prospective employers.


The next event in the anniversary program will be a fun run in the morning of November 11, a Saturday. With 2-km, 5-km and 25-km categories, this sports spectacular will kick off at the Remy Field and progress along the length of Waterfront Road.

Nearby, some water cannon salutes will again take place on the bay, while the Philippine Air Force (PAF) makes some aircraft formation and skydiving display overhead.

The PAF will also present a static aircraft display at the Subic Bay International Airport.

On November 18, also a Saturday, Remy Field will be the venue for several events, including the SBMA Family Day that will feature fun games like the Amazing Race, giant volleyball, and “Laro ng Lahi.” The latter will include traditional Filipino games like “kadang-kadang”, catching the greasy pig, and “patintero.”

At 2:00 p.m., the talent show “SBMA Got Talent” will start at the Subic Gym, to be followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Boardwalk Park.

Meanwhile, there will be a three-day “Subic Bay Grand Sale” at Remy Field and all tourism establishments in Subic from Nov. 24 to 26.

This will include night bazaar and food festivals, night entertainment, discount sales from tourism stakeholders, and fireworks display.


On Nov. 24, which marks the actual turnover of Subic Bay from the U.S. Navy to the Philippine government, the activities will start at 8:00 in the morning with an ecumenical mass in front of Bldg. 229.

This will be followed by an awarding ceremony to recognize pioneer investor companies, as well as pioneer SBMA employees. The awardees will also be honored with aerial and water salutes.

The morning program will be capped by a silent drill demonstration by cadets of the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, and by performances from the SBMA Law Enforcement Department brass band and the Philippine Air Force band.

In the afternoon, a new museum featuring photo exhibits and memorabilia displays will open at the Harbor Point mall. The museum displays will be available for public viewing until Nov. 26.

At 3:00 p.m., a float and foot parade involving representatives from local government units will start at the Waterfront Road.

The parade will end at the Volunteers’ Shrine where the unveiling of commemorative items and a tribute to volunteers will take place. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)



August 18, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine economy recorded a 6.5-percent growth in the second quarter of 2017, the government announced Thursday.

The Philippines’ gross domestic product is lower than the 7.1-percent growth in the same period last year but slightly higher than the 6.4-percent growth in the first quarter of 2017, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said that the country remains one of the best performing economies in Asia with the latest economic data.

The Philippine economy is on track to meeting its full year-on-year growth of 6.5 to 7.5 percent, Pernia said at the news conference.

“We have overtaken Vietnam’s 6.2-percent growth and Indonesia’s 5-percent growth rate. This puts the country as either the second or the third fastest growing major Asian economy next only to China whose growth rate was 6.9 percent in the second quarter,” Pernia said.

Malaysia and Thailand are yet to release their data but are expected to be lower than the Philippines, Pernia said.

Pernia noted that the Aquino administration did well in terms of establishing macroeconomic fundamentals while the Duterte administration sustained good policies and projects.

National Statistician Lisa Grace Bersales announced that the net primary income for the rest of the world grew by 8.6 percent, driving the gross national income to expand by 6.8 percent.

“NPI posted a growth of 6.9 percent also lower than the one recorded last year of 7.7 percent growth for the same semester last year. As a result, the gross national income grew by 6.5 percent in the first semester of 2017,” Bersales said.

Among major economic sectors, the industry sector recorded the fastest growth of 7.3 percent followed by the services sector with 6.1 percent and agriculture with 6.3 percent, which rebounded from its 2.0-percent decline last year.

The country’s per capita GDP grew by 5.0 percent with a projected population reaching 104.5 million in the second quarter.

The services sector had the highest contribution to the GDP growth with 3.5 percentage points, followed by industry with 2.5 percentage points and agriculture with 0.5 percentage point.

“On the demand side, intellectual property products recorded the highest growth of 68.3 percent followed by export of goods at 23.0 percent, imports of goods at 20.6 percent and imports of services 10.7 percent,” Bersales said.

Major contributors to the GDP growth from the expenditure side were household final consumption expenditure (3.9 percent), durable equipment (1.1 percent) and government final consumption expenditure (0.9 percent).

Net exports, on the other hand, pulled down the GDP growth by 0.4 percentage points.

Per capita GNI grew by 5.3 percent while per capita household final consumption expenditure slowed down to 4.4 percent, according to Bersales.

(c) Patricia Lourdes Viray


August 8, 2017

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Board has issued Resolution 17-05- 2004, removing the Integrity Pledge as a requisite for renewal of a locator’s business certificate.

The resolution came out on June 15 this year.

Earlier, Brighterday Subic Ltd. Inc. (BSLI), operator of All Hands Beach, filed a petition before Branch 75 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) challenging the requirement made by SBMA for investors to compulsorily sign the Integrity Pledge.

Mark Dayrit, Brighterday chairman, complained before the court that free port investors were being “coerced and forced” to sign the pledge for their business operations to continue.

The investors were previously required to submit the signed Integrity Pledge at least a week before the renewal or issuance of their business permit.

The RTC had issued an injunction in favor of BSLI because it found that Resolution 17-05-2004 was being implemented in an “abhorrent” manner.

It then directed the SBMA to issue BSLI’s Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption (CRTE).

Because of the subsequent issuance of the resolution, the court dismissed the petition filed by BSLI.

In his order issued on July 26, Judge Raymond Viray of RTC Branch 75 said the petition was rendered moot and academic after the SBMA removed the Integrity Pledge as a prerequisite for business registration and renewal of permit.

Viray added that the free port asked the court to dismiss the petition of Brighterday Subic Ltd. Inc., saying the SBMA had removed the pledge from its business requirements.

The SBMA described the Integrity Pledge as a commitment to ethical business practices and good corporate governance.

On May 23, the SBMA Board passed a resolution that removed the pledge from the requisites in obtaining a certificate of registration and tax exemption.

Instead, the board decided to make the Integrity Pledge a voluntary document as a “good governance practice.”


July 28, 2017

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is projecting a 15-percent increase in revenue from the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector this year after posting an average monthly income of P6 million from it over the past five months.

SBMA Administrator and CEO Wilma T. Eisma said the agency’s Business and Investment Department for ICT made the forecast after a consistent growth that has eclipsed 2017 revenue targets.

She said that with the average monthly collection of P6 million, the agency’s BID-ICT is expecting to generate around P76.4 million at the end of the year.

“This figure would be higher by 15.64 percent than the revenue we posted for ICT in 2016,” Eisma said.

The BID-ICT, which handles locators engaged in business process outsourcing (BPO), business process management (BPM), and other related industries, has collected a total of P68,314,258 in revenue for 2016, said Cleofe Espineli, who heads the department.

At last count, there are 95 locators engaged in ICT inside the Subic Freeport, said Espineli. These are infusing more than P32.17 billion worth of investments and employing nearly 2,000 Filipinos.

Espineli added that as of May this year, BID-ICT has already recorded a total revenue of P29,902,215, which is 35.15 percent higher than its 2017 revenue target.

She also said that BID-ICT is currently processing the expansions of some existing locators that will result in additional committed investments of P273 million and additional 608 personnel.

When completed, the expansion projects will generate additional revenue of P15.1 million for the SBMA.

“With my team’s commitment, determination and malasakit (compassion) for SBMA, we will deliver the best that we can. We wanted to be part of the SBMA team that keeps winning,” Espineli said.

Earlier, Eisma reported that in terms of over-all financial performance, SBMA posted P1.25 billion in revenue for January to May of 2017, which is 7.7 percent higher than the P1.16 billion in the same period last year.

“But the most interesting fact here is that the SBMA has already posted a net income P240.21 million from January to May this year, or 126 percent higher than the P106 million that was posted last year in the same period,” Eisma noted.

“Even if there are clouds over our heads that trouble our beloved agency, let us continue to perform with excellence and malasakit so that we will continue to contribute bigger shares to the government than ever before,” Eisma also said.

(c) Butch Gunio



Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:32 AM July 14, 2017

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) bagged its single biggest foreign direct investment in recent years, scored a record six new revenue increases this year, and doubled its fuel-storage capacity in 24 years, its chair, Martin Diño, announced on Monday.

Diño, in a press statement, bared these “major gains” by SBMA in the first quarter of 2017 to debunk reports of inefficiency amid a leadership row with other SBMA officials who, he said, opposed his ‘‘uncompromising crusade against corruption, smuggling and abuses of some Freeport officials victimizing business locators.’’

He said his exposés of a spate of smuggling, like the sewing machine declared as scrap materials and petroleum products,  and the botched importation of white sugar and substandard steel bars might have enraged those behind the racket, including officials with pending court cases.

Diño had been involved in a leadership row with SBMA administrator Wilma Eisma who accused him of exercising powers beyond his authority as chair. The law that created the SBMA vests the powers of the chair and administrator in just one person, but an administrative order by the then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo separated the two positions, resulting in a conflict between the two officials, both of whom were appointed by President Duterte.

Diño explained that he was only doing his job based on the marching orders of Mr. Duterte to clean Subic of corruption and bring back the Freeport to its former glory as a leading transshipment and logistics hub in Asia.

Under his term as chair, Diño said the SBMA approved the proposal of the Singapore-based Dynamic Konstruct International Eco Builders Corp. to build a $797 million new industrial estate at Redondo Peninsula where the Hanjin shipbuilding firm is located.

He also cited a 7.59 percent increase in revenue from P676.3 million in first quarter of 2016 to P727.6 million for the same period this year;  a 148-percent increase in net income from P18.8 million in Q1 2016 to P46.7 million in Q1 2017; a 24.84 percent increase in cash and investments; and more than P40 billion in new investments.

Diño said the Philippine Coastal Storage and Pipeline Corp., operator of petroleum-storage facilities in SBMA and the Subic-Clark fuel pipeline, opened only recently its three 180,000-barrel storage tanks and two tank-truck loading racks that increased its fuel storage capacity to 5.2 million barrels.
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July 13, 2017

CLARK FREEPORT—The horrendous traffic in Metro Manila is actually helping boost the revenues of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in Zambales.

“We are up P614 million. Our biggest income is the port operations and we are being helped immensely by the traffic in Manila,” said SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma during the Balitaan media forum organized by the Capampangan in Media Inc., in cooperation with the Clark Development Corp., last week.

Eisma said SBMA doesn’t have any form of government subsidy and the income is derived from the authority’s operations alone.

“Businessmen are losing money because of the traffic in Manila and Subic is not only cheaper in terms of operations,  but just the ease in doing business and doing things right are big factors,” she added.

Eisma also said SBMA has approved and signed some very exciting prospects, including the development of a new industrial park and a solar farm at the Redondo Peninsula, an area which was used by the US military as bombing target practice.

However, the fate of Dynamic Konstruct International Eco Builders Corp. (DKIEBC), which has signed an agreement with SBMA in the development of the industrial park and a solar farm in the peninsula, will be known after the board meeting on July 13.

Eisma said DKIEBC was not able to come up with a deposit of P500 million, after the deadline expired on July 12.

She said the money is meant “just to make sure that they can do the job and they have the money to do it”.

“I’m prepared to rescind the contract if they don’t meet the deadline,” she added. “But I cannot pre-empt the July 13 board decision.”

Eisma described the project as very ambitious that is why they have to be cautious.

“It’s more like an industrial city with a solar farm, which is self-sufficient in electricity and even in water they are looking in desalination, including creating their own energy in waste to energy projects,” she said.

Eisma added the project started with the time of chairman Roberto Garcia and “it carried over to our time”.

She said she was the last holdover in the voting because “I wanted to make sure that they have the money to support it because it’s really a grand project.”

Eisma said just like in Clark, “We don’t have property to lease out in Subic. We have in theory 64,000 hectares, but only 14,000 are actually usable and now we are going to the new frontier like the Redondo Peninsula.”

Eisma, a lawyer by profession, said they are now in talks with local government units (LGUs) to consider going out because under the law, “We can come out with business incentives outside the fenced area.”

Some of the business incentives include the 5-percent income tax, visa-free assistance and tax-free importations, unlike regular investors which pay the regular tax rate.

But it has to be very carefully implemented and strictly monitored, she added.

Eisma said they already met with the mayors of Hermosa, Morong, Subic, Castillejos, San Antonio and San Marcelino to come up and identify contiguous areas of up to 400 hectares in their respective areas which can be leased to investors.

Meanwhile, Eisma said recently she had been chosen by the Board of Investments  to help sell the Central Luzon growth corridor. That is why she joined the business investments mission in Taiwan and, in two weeks, she will join another mission to South Korea.

(c) Ashley Manabat


July 12, 2017

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: The Philippines is now pushing to establish Central Luzon as the ideal destination for Taiwanese investments under Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy that seeks enhanced economic collaboration with countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australasia.

Speaking as a member of the Philippine delegation in the recent Philippine Investment Promotion Plan (PIPP) Investment Roadshow to Taiwan, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator and chief executive officer Wilma Eisma urged business groups in Taipei and Taichung City to take a closer look at the Central Luzon Manufacturing and Logistics Zone (CMLZ) as prime investment destination.

“We know that you are already very familiar with the (special economic) zones in the Philippines, but please allow me to re-introduce to you a prime business location, a manufacturing and logistics hub north of Manila, Philippines,” Eisma said.

She said the CMLZ – composed of Clark Freeport, Subic Bay Freeport, and the Freeport Area of Bataan on more than 90,000 hectares area – has several advantages that make it a haven for businesses and managed by devoted agencies that have come together as one unit.

“Together we have worked closely to maximize our potential as one manufacturing and logistics zone. By joining forces, we now offer you many advantages,” Eisma added.

The first advantage of locating in CMLZ, she told Taiwanese businessmen, is its strategic location being “a critical entry point to the ASEAN region populated by some 650 million people, as well as a natural gateway to East Asian economies such as China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.”

Moreover, the CMLZ is at the crossroads of international shipping and air lanes, and accessible to the ASEAN region within three to four hours by plane via the Clark International Airport and four days by ship to and from the Port of Subic.

Eisma also pointed out that Clark hosts eight passenger airlines for international and domestic flights, as well as four cargo operators like Federal Express and UPS, while Subic has 10 shipping lines that call at various seaports.

Eisma likewise cited the 93.77-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway as another major infrastructure that connects the Clark airport and the Subic seaport, thus enabling a faster and more efficient logistics and supply chain system for business locators and tourists.

The combination of these infrastructures and other facilities, Eisma pointed out, “presents a workable business platform for foreign businesses engaged in the manufacturing, as well as industrial estate development, shipbuilding, aviation and aerospace, and business process outsourcing.”

She added that the three free port zones in the CMLZ are perfect for targeted key industries like electronics, automotive parts and aerospace products for Clark; shipbuilding and maritime industries, including cruise ships for Subic; and high-end garments manufacturing for Bataan.

The Taiwan investment road show was organized by the PIPP, an aggrupation of 19 investment agencies that seek to create quality jobs by attracting high-impact, innovative, and inclusive investments.



July 12, 2017

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Central Luzon is now being eyed as an ideal destination for Taiwanese investments under Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy, which  seeks enhanced economic cooperation with the Asean, as well as countries in South Asia and Australasia.

Speaking in the recent Philippine Investment Promotion Plan  Investment Roadshow to Taiwan, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Wilma Eisma urged Taiwanese businessmen in Taipei and Taichung City to consider the so-called Central Luzon Manufacturing and Logistics Zone (CMLZ) as a prime investment destination.

Eisma said the CMLZ—composed of Clark Freeport, Subic Bay Freeport, and the Freeport Area of Bataan—has ample space for manufacturing with its land area of more than 90,000 hectares, superb perks for businesses and management by agencies that have come together as one unit.

“Together, we have worked closely to maximize our potential as one manufacturing and logistics zone.  By joining forces, we now offer you many advantages,” she told businessmen.

Eisma said the foremost advantage of locating in CMLZ is its strategic location, as the area “is a critical entry point to the Asean region populated by 650 million people, as well as a natural gateway to East Asian economies, such as China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea”.

She added the CMLZ is at the crossroads of international shipping and air lanes, and accessible to the Asean region within three to four hours by plane via the Clark International Airport, and four days by ship to and from the Port of Subic.

Another advantage, Eisma said, lies in the developed infrastructure support at CMLZ, like the eight passenger airlines with international and domestic flights, as well as four cargo operators in Clark and the 10 shipping lines that call at Subic’s various seaports.

Eisma also cited the 93.77-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, which connects Clark and Subic, thus enabling a faster and more efficient logistics and supply-chain system for business locators and tourists.

“These developed infrastructures enhance our strategic location and internal supply-chain systems,” she said, adding the combination of these infrastructures “presents a workable business platform for foreign businesses engaged in the manufacturing, as well as industrial estate development, shipbuilding, aviation and aerospace and business-process outsourcing.”

(c) Henry Empeño


Most of us in the workplace have to cope with increasing workloads—with multiple deadlines and deliverables piling up.

This can lead to everyone feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

So what could we do to handle stress?

We asked Dr. Didoy Lubaton, a physician who also devotes his time imparting a more holistic approach towards a healthy lifestyle especially to working professionals, for some tips.

Here are three things you can do about stress:

  1. Recognize the stress

It’s okay not to be okay. You’ve got to feel your feelings. Your body is a great communicator. Listen to your body!

The first step in solving any problem is recognizing that there is a problem. The problem arises when we don’t recognize it and eventually the body shuts down or shouts through a chronic disease.

  1. Resolve the stress

As much and as soon as you can recognize it, resolve the stress.

Get to the root cause of the stress, pluck it out, cut it off as soon as possible. Maybe it’s a toxic schedule. If so, you need to realign what you can do with your time.

Or perhaps it’s a toxic habit at work, in which case, stop what you need to stop, or start what you need to start. Or maybe guard yourself from toxic people, to protect yourself from getting hurt.

  1. Renew yourself

Stress can make your better—or bitter. Choose to be the better and bigger person. You don’t have to wait for others to change, you can be the change that you want to happen.

Discipline yourself; you are the main driver of your health. Your body is your business.

Take care of yourself first. Eat healthy, exercise and get adequate sleep. The goal is to become a healthier person, so that when stressful moments come, it’s not a big deal anymore. Stress will always be there. Accept that you will always be challenged by stress in your life. What you do with the stress, and how you respond to stress will make the difference. Most of all, as you work on yourself, by your example you begin to help others too in managing their stress.

Dr. Lubaton will facilitate a workshop entitled “Create A Stress-Free Space: Managing Stress for a Happier and Healthier You” on July 28, 2017 to be held in Inquirer Academy. It is designed to help working professionals be resilient in managing toxic stress, and how to prevent burnout at work. This is ideal for all professionals, especially in the HR function to help in planning wellness programs of the company.

(c) Glenn San Luis@inquirerdotnet