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Manila traffic helps boost SBMA income
By Ashley Manabat

Jul 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. (CAMI) in cooperation with the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) here last week.

Eisma said SBMA doesn’t receive 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 for 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 at desalination including creating their own energy in waste-to-energy projects,” she said.

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

She said she was the last hold over 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 five 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 she had been chosen by the Board of Investments (BOI) to help sell the Central Luzon growth corridor.

That is why she joined the business investments mission in Taiwan and in two weeks-time she will join another mission to South Korea.




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