SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) registered a revenue of P3.47 billion last year, capping the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic with an 8% growth in income and other major accomplishments in key performance areas.
In her 2021 annual report to President Duterte, SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said that “while a few indicators remain impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the general trend is upward where the SBMA was able to accelerate growth and surpass its performance in the previous year.”
Foremost among the top performances Eisma told the President about was the operating revenue of the agency, which stood at P3.47 billion for the period ending December 2021. This was P270M or 8% higher compared to revenue in the same period in 2020, she added.
Eisma pointed out that most of the SBMA revenue came from leases and port operations, with land and building leases growing by 2% and contributing P1.38 billion, and seaport operations growing by 14% and generating P1.37 billion.
She also reported that the agency’s regulatory income increased by 11% and provided P408 million in revenue, while airport operations grew by 26% and contributed P79 million.
The SBMA chief likewise provided positive reports in investment and employment generation, tourism, imports and exports.
She said the SBMA recorded a total of 142,177 Subic Bay Freeport workers as of December 31, showing an employment increase of 2.31% from 138,966 workers in 2020. SBFZ business locators, meanwhile, numbered 1,737 SBFZ as of December 31, “continuing a slight upward trend since 2019,” Eisma said.
She added that new investments, including expansions, totaled P17.29 billion, higher than the 2020 record by P15.74 billion, or 1,011%. The 2021 record even topped the pre-pandemic 2019 level by P8.05 billion, or 87%, with the bulk comprised by a P15-billion commitment from a business locator, which proposed to develop the SBFZ marshalling yard.
Meanwhile, Eisma said that the pandemic-hit tourism industry in Subic “is recovering and has recorded a total of 7.3 million same-day visitors in 2021.” This was also higher than the 2020 record by 2.18 million or 42%, but still lower than the 2019 record by 2.2 million or 23%.
In terms of trade, Eisma said the Subic Bay Freeport “defied the negative impact of the pandemic by recording a total of US$1.58 billion import value in 2021, which was 49.53% higher than the 2020 import value of US$1.12 billion.”
On the other hand, Subic’s export value reached a total of US$1.37 billion, which was 32.42% higher than the 2020 export value of US$1.03 billion. Both import and export values respectively exceeded the 2019 pre-pandemic records by 8.12% and 6.73%, Eisma added.
At the same time, Chairman Eisma reported to President Duterte that the Subic Bay International Airport, which was tapped by the Department of Transportation last year to accommodate “Bayanihan” flights has recorded a total of 53 flights as of December 31, bringing home a total of 14,312 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and returning overseas Filipinos, and generating P3.17 million in direct revenues for the SBMA.
Eisma likewise reported that the SBMA’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout, which was a joint project with the Department of Health, has resulted in the administration of 22,251 vaccine doses as of the end of 2021.
Eisma assured the President that the SBMA “is doing its best to be more competitive and maintain a business-friendly environment in the Freeport, as we continue to support all the programs of the government to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone in the Subic Bay Freeport.”