(SBMA chairman and administrator Wilma T. Eisma asks investors to employ Subic upland farmers during the development of the Tipo Hightech Eco Park.)
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The first eco-friendly industrial park will be up soon in this free port to house light industrial factories, commercial facilities, residential buildings, and a nature park.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the project to be called the Tipo Hightech Eco Park (THEP) will be located in a 200-hectare property atop the gently rolling hills of Tipo, which is also the site of an expressway leading to this free port.
Eisma said the development will be undertaken by Xantheng Subic International Corp., a Taiwanese company which committed an investment of P15 billion for the project. The firm is also behind the development of a high-end condominium complex at Triboa Bay here.
According to THEP Project Manager Jeff Lin, Xantheng Subic’s project will generate a workforce demand of over 500 during the development period alone. More employees will be hired when factories and business start operating, he added.
During the launch of the THEP project held at Peninsular Hotel here last week, Chairman Eisma elicited a promise from the investors to give priority hiring to qualified upland farmers of Tipo and Mabiga villages, who were part of a “social fencing” project of the SBMA which started in 2002. The 136.59 hectares they occupied under the SBMA program will be part of the THEP.
“I want you to promise me that when the factories and business are up, you will give priority to hiring these families or their children,” Eisma said, referring to the 65 families who were part of the social fencing program.
The SBMA official also thanked the farmers for their cooperation, and for allowing a very smooth and pleasant negotiation and turn-over.
Lin said the THEP was conceived to accommodate the growing population of Taiwanese investors in the Subic Bay Freeport. However, the management does not discount giving room for other nationalities, he said.
“The business atmosphere in here is very conducive and attractive, especially with the on-going road and infrastructure projects of the SBMA. Many Taiwanese companies and investors from other countries, too, are interested to locate here,” Lin said.
According to the master plan submitted by THEP to SBMA, the development will include 101.47 hectares for light industries, 17.99 hectares for a commercial complex, 7.11 hectares for mixed use, 23.16 hectares for residential buildings, and 23.16 for a nature and environment conservation park.
There will also be a reserved area for utilities use and other purposes for a total development area of 209.27 hectares.
Eisma also congratulated Xantheng for coming up with the idea of an industrial park which will incorporate environmental conservation.
Eisma said this will be a first of its kind to be implemented in the Subic Bay Freeport.