SBMA set to attract more Japanese investors to Subic Bay

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is eyeing more Japanese companies to invest here with the entry of the Japanese firm Subic Smart Community Corporation (SSCC) to upgrade the Subic golf course.

SBMA Administrator Atty. Wilma T. Eisma said the upgrading of the Subic golf course will play an integral part in attracting more tourists to the Freeport.

“When we first envisioned the Subic Freeport during its initial stage, we were thinking of making this into a port city like Singapore. Aside from the usual port operations like cargo and bulk handling, we imagined Subic Freeport as a tourist haven for local and international tourists alike,” she said.

The SBMA has approved a $30-million investment for the upgrade of the Subic Bay golf course by the SSCC. According to Masafumi Miyamoto, the company will develop Subic Bay golf course into a world-class venue for tournaments and a housing facility for the elderly and retirees.

Miyamoto is the founder of the Smart Community Co., Ltd., the first and largest continuing-care retirement community in Japan.

The two-pronged development project is touted as a potential major asset in the Subic Freeport. The first part is the $3-million renovation and redevelopment of the whole golf course within the span of two years.

The renovation will include the clubhouse, sprinkler systems and repair of ponds, improvement of the greens and the upgrade of machinery and equipment such as golf carts and service vehicles.

Miyamoto said the golf course will remain in operation despite the renovation, leaving open a minimum of nine holes.

The second part of the development project is the $27-million expansion of all areas for the Subic Smart Community within a six-year period. This will include the construction of 200 residential units within the span of two years.

Another 1,800 residential units will be added, including various amenities such as a gym, a sports center, arts and crafts studios, karaoke or music rooms, function rooms, library and bars and restaurants.

The plan to create residential areas is part of Miyamoto’s proposal for Japanese retirees after a market study showed that Japan’s elderly care businesses rose to a whopping $252-billion in 2015. — MHIKE R. CIGARAL

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