SBMA urges LGUs to start developing industrial parks as extension of Freeport

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 the 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 starts 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 revenue 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," Eisma said.

She said 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.

Source: Philippines News Agency