SUBIC AS PORT OF CHOICE

September 23, 2017 at 12:01 am

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—With lower rates, faster turnaround time, and 15 piers and wharves to choose from, the Subic Bay Freeport is angling to be the port of choice for shippers and port users in Northern and Central Luzon today.

Atty. Wilma T. Eisma, administrator and chief executive officer of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, said during the Northern Luzon Investors’ Conference at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel last Thursday that Subic provides the best solution in terms of the ease and cost of doing shipping and related maritime business.

Eisma told business leaders and prospective investors in the region that along with its strategic location, the country’s premier free port provides 10 built-in advantages “that could spell the difference for players in the shipping business.”

Subic’s plus factors for successful shipping operations are faster turnaround time, absence of red tape, short processing time, absence of congestion, absence of traffic, immediate docking upon vessel arrival, no truck ban, lower port tariff, higher efficiency, and ISO-quality service, Eisma said.

To start with, the Subic Freeport has a total of 15 piers and wharves that can support the transshipment of a wide range of cargoes. 

Eisma said the two wharves in Subic’s former Ship Repair Facility are ideal for passenger ships, as well as military vessels because they are located near the Central Business District, while the two other piers further inside the facility would be ideal for repair and boat services.

The two jetties at the former Naval Supply Depot are perfect for break-bulk cargoes and shipments bound for Subic’s industrial parks and manufacturing centers in Central and Northern Luzon, while the three docks at the Boton Logistics Center would best be suited for petroleum products, she added.

Those at Cubi Point, Eisma said, could accommodate containerized cargo, as well as grains and fertilizer, while the single landings at Nabasan, Camayan and Grande could be used for specialized purposes, including tourism.

Eisma also pointed out that Subic is already the port of choice for Hanjin, the fourth largest shipbuilder in the world; China’s Jovo Group, which operates the country’s first ship-to-ship transfer of liquefied petroleum gas; and Subic Bay Int’l Terminal Corp., an affiliate of the International Container Terminal Services Inc., one of the five major maritime terminal operators in the world.

“We have also attracted nine container shipping lines that now connect Subic Bay to major commercial centers in the United States, Europe, Middle East, and Southeast Asia, and this is because we have some of the lowest rates in stevedoring and arrastre, as well as export, import and transshipment fees,” Eisma said.

She cited as an example Subic’s stevedoring charges for a loaded 40-footer container that is only $94.33, while that for Manila goes for $137.87 excluding VAT, or a difference of $43.54 or 31.58 percent.

Subic’s arrastre rates for the import of a 40-footer container is just P4,787.05, while that for Manila is pegged at P9,235.00 excluding VAT, or a difference of P4,447.95 (48.16 percent).

As a center for maritime operations, Subic also offers key port services like cargo handling, pilot and tugboat services, ship chandelling, bunkering and tendering, ship agents, onboard repair, cargo survey, underwater survey, and vessel lay-up and line handling, Eisma said.

It likewise provides facilities for fuel storage and handling, grains storage, maritime training, ship repair, warehousing, and vessel lay-up.

Eisma also said that because the Port of Subic is uniquely accessible by sea, land and air, more and more manufacturers and export producers, as well as importers in Luzon are shipping through this free port.

Among the top exporters using the Port of Subic now are Yokohama Tires Phils., which is located at the Clark Freeport; Juken Sangyo (Subic), Petron Freeport Corp. (Bataan), HLD Clark Steel (Clark), Tong Lung Phil Metal Industry (Subic), Johnson Control-Hitachi (Subic), Limech Manufacturing and Trading (Subic), Orica Phils. Inc. (Bataan and Subic), Hitachi Terminal Mechatronics (Subic), and Philip Morris Int’l (Subic).

The top 10 importers through the Port of Subic are Foton Motors Phils (Subic), Yokohama Tires Phils (Clark), TIPCO (Pampanga), Nestle Phils (Bulacan), San Miguel Brewery (Pampanga), United Auctioneers Inc. (Subic), Tong Lung Phil Metal Industry (Subic), Masinloc Power Plant (Subic), HHIC-Phils Inc. (Subic), and Transam Waste and Rags (Clark).

In the same occasion, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade spoke on the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program for Subic and Clark, while Bases Conversion and Development Authority President Vivencio Dizon discussed the proposed Clark Green City, among other speakers.

Roberto Locsin, SBITC president and general manager, talked about Subic Port and how it facilitates trade for Northern Luzon shippers.

(c) Butch Gunio

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NEW FIRM TAKES OVER LYCEUM SUBIC

September 19, 2017

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—A new company has taken over the operations of Lyceum of Subic Bay Inc. (LSBI), allowing the debt-ridden firm to pay more than P31 million in overdue rentals and other arrears to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and to honor its development commitments for its two campuses here.

SBMA Administrator and CEO Wilma T. Eisma said the SBMA, through a board resolution, has approved the reassignment of LSBI’s leasehold rights to Premium Technical Training and Facilities Inc. (PTTFI), which assumed the financial and developmental obligations of the original lessee.

The PTTFI is 30-percent owned by LSBI.

“As far as we can see, this is a win-win solution to a problem that has been hounding the SBMA since October 2015, when it pre-terminated the contract of Global Daeil, over the Cubi property,” Eisma said.

Eisma added the SBMA repossessed the property in January last year and later awarded it to Lyceum, which had the best business model.

“Unfortunately, Lyceum was not able to operate immediately and market the business properly because of some issue with the previous occupant, so we had a problem that compounded itself over time,” she said.

Eisma added the compromise agreement was made possible with the withdrawal by LSBI from coverage of the SBMA policy-granting educational institutions a 75-percent discount on rentals, which are to be plowed back to scholarship programs and facilities improvement.

Under the new agreement, PTTFI took over the 34,196-square-meter Lyceum campus at Subic’s Cubi-Triboa District, which had P23 million in rentals and utility fees arrears, as well as P16.68 million in unpaid accounts left by its previous operator, Global Daeil Subic Inc.

The deal also required LSBI to pay its debts for the Lyceum campus at Subic’s central business district (CBD).

The new operator initially paid the SBMA P31 million for the arrears, and issued checks to cover outstanding obligations for both the Cubic and CBD campuses.

Beatrix Anagaran, manager of the SBMA General Business and Investment Department, said the amended lease and development agreement for PTTFI was “overwhelmingly beneficial to the SBMA”, as it called for an increase in monthly rent from the discounted rate of P1.22 million to the appraised-value rate of P4 million.

The agreement also provided for an increase in escalation rate from 2 percent per annum starting on the third year to 6 percent per annum starting the second year.

Anagaran said upon taking over the Cubi property, Premium Technical, likewise, committed to pay the P16-million debt of Global Daeil within a three-year amortization period, and retained LSBI’s committed investment of P50 million to P100 million, a committed employment of 180 workers, a development commitment of P10 million to P20 million, and the provision of 36 scholarship grants per year.

She said the new operator also committed to put up a business process outsourcing (BPO) facility at the Cubi campus, as well as a modern training laboratory.

(c) Henry Empeño

SBMA prepares for 25th founding anniversary

05 SEPTEMBER 2017

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.

PAST REVISITED

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.

SPORTS SPECTACULARS

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.

FINALE

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)