Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, September 22, 2005

‘Keep professional managers at SBMA’

By Bebot Sison Jr.
The Philippine Star

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) has given its unconditional support to President Arroyo’s decision to maintain professionalism in the management of the Subic Bay Freeport despite lobbying from various political camps to have their nominees appointed to top positions in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

The SBFCC urged the President to consider recalling Executive Order 340, which split the top SBMA post into two.

Under Republic Act 7227, which created the SBMA, only one executive occupies both the positions of chairman and administrator.

SBFCC president Gary Mendoza said Subic investors are satisfied with the present set-up at the SBMA which has been staffed lately with professional managers.

"We are happy with the situation now," Mendoza told The STAR in a phone interview.

"This is a better set-up because business operations can be conducted more smoothly and there is less red tape," he said.

SBMA administrator Alfredo Antonio, who is also vice chairman of the SBMA board, took over as presiding officer after the controversial resignation last month of SBMA chairman Francisco Licuanan III.

Malacañang has named Feliciano Salonga as Licuanan’s replacement.

Mendoza and other SBFCC officers said they were satisfied with Antonio’s efforts to consult with locators on various operational concerns in the Freeport, as well as to bring in experienced managers from the business sector.

Antonio, former chairman of the Development Bank of the Philippines, earlier pledged to "run the SBMA like a business."

Locators here said Antonio has been succeeding so far, noting the "able support" of senior deputies Hermenigildo Atienza, who runs business development; Monina Pineda, support services; and Gen. Jose Calimlim, who is in charge of operations.


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