SBMA keeps upbeat mood in 1st half

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Good news kept coming out of the Subic Bay Freeport in the first half of this year, as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority reported continuing growth in revenue, dividends, investments, exports and tourism.

In a report to President Rodrigo Duterte, who is set to make his first State of the Nation Address on July 24, the SBMA indicated increases in all aspects of its performance from January to May this year, said SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma.
She said that in terms of the agency’s financial performance, it recorded a 7.7 percent growth in revenue from a total of P1.16 billion in the first five months last year to P1.25 billion in January-May 2017, and a 3.4 percent increase in operating income for the same period.

“But the most revealing item here is SBMA’s net income which went up by more than 126 percent, because from the P106.27 million that was recorded in January-May 2016, we’re now at P240.21 million in just the first five months this year,” Eisma said.

“Apparently—and this cannot be denied—the SBMA has continued well in its growth path in the last few years and we are actually breaking old records here,” she added.

Eisma also said that because of the upsurge in its financial performance, the SBMA has managed to contribute bigger shares to the government than ever before.

This includes a 30.58 percent increase in the revenue shares to local government units that went from P115.22 million in the first half last year to P150.46 million this year; and a 30.42 percent increase in the government’s 3% share from the gross income earned in the Subic Bay Freeport, which rose from P178.37 million in January-May 2016 to P232.63 million in the same period in 2017.

Still, the dividends paid by the SBMA to the national government through the Bureau of Treasury, Eisma added, reached a huge 352.7 percent increase, as actual remittances grew from P145.91 million to P660.69 million.

Eisma said the favorable financial picture in Subic also extended to new investment commitments, which surged by 642 percent from P5.6 billion in January to May 2016, to P40.55 billion in January-May 2017. Likewise, the number of new business locators grew by 58, bringing the total number of Subic-registered businesses to 1,527, while expansion projects of existing locators jumped by 85 percent, or from 13 last year to 24 this year.

“The huge increase in new investment commitments is due primarily to the approval of the investment project of Dynamic Konstruk International Eco Builders Corp. (DKIEBC), which amounts to P39.92 billion,” Eisma explained.

DKIEBC will engage in general construction, renewable energy and industrial hub development at the Rodondo Peninsula, with projected employment ranging from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 50,000.

Eisma said other major business developments in Subic this year included the soft opening of Datian Subic Corp.’s shoe factory, which now employs 1,000 workers; the ground-breaking of Toyota Subic, Inc.’s P150-million multi-level showroom and service center; the start of Teekay Swan’s and JOVO’s ship-to-ship transfer operations with an expected annual port revenue of P200 million; and the start of DM Leisure Corp.’s P4.6-billion golf course and leisure complex project.

Meanwhile, the SBMA also gave positive reports in tourism, with a 1 percent increase in visitor arrivals and a 3 percent growth in actual revenues that stood at P10.54 million in January-May 2017.

Relative to tourism, Eisma also reported that the Subic Bay Freeport became the first free port zone in the country to have declared non-smoking zones in compliance with President Duterte’s EO 26 that called for the establishment of smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places. (Dante M. Salvana)