Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, September 23, 2005

Salonga, Arreza assume top SBMA posts today

Subic investors optimistic on competence of new execs

By JONAS REYES, Manila Bulletin

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Two new faces will take over as new chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority today following the appointment by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of a new management team to oversee the development of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Feliciano "Phil" Salonga, former president of the Subic Shipyard Corp., and Armand C. Arreza, former undersecretary of the Department of Tourism (DoT), will the assume leadership of the SBMA as chairman and administrator, respectively.

Salonga replaces former SBMA chairman Francisco H. Licuanan III, while Arreza takes over the post of Administrator Alfredo C. Antonio, who served in a holdover capacity at SBMA following his appointment to the Monetary Board some two months ago.

The leadership change marks the turnover of one the country’s top industrial and tourism centers from one professional management team to another, some locators said.

Salonga, known as the father of internationally acclaimed singer-actress Lea Salonga, had also served as vice chairman of the Bataan shipyard and executive chairman of the Westmont Bank. He was a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kingspoint, New York.

Arreza had served as chief operating officer, operations director and senior consultant for some multinational firms and financial controller and analyst of SBMA in 1993 to 1996.

He earned a masters degree in business administration, major in finance and operations management, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

SBMA officials said the incoming managers are expected to continue the professional legacy of their predecessors and run the Subic Freeport "like a business" in support of President Arroyo’s 10-point economic agenda.

Because of their business background, the new managers are be expected to initiate more investor- friendly policies and enhance the SBMA’s symbiotic relations with locators, as well as local government units and communities in Subic.

Meanwhile, the Subic business community welcomed the appointment of Salonga and Arreza and expressed optimism about the capability of the new managers.

In a letter to President Arroyo, Joseph Chou, chairman of the Subic Bay Development and Management Corp. which operates the Taiwanese industrial park here, called the appointments "prudent" and described Salonga and Arreza as "reputed to be business icons with extensive experience."

Chou said that Taiwanese investors welcome the appointments "with fresh hopes that the new administration will promote the business success of investors and put their concerns on top of the SBMA agenda."

Ichiro Tsuji, president of the Subic Techno Park Corp. (STEP), also expressed hope that with the appointment of Salonga and Arreza, "the professional management of Subic Freeport will continue."

The Japanese business executive also pledged continued support for the development program of the SBMA and thanked Antonio, the outgoing administrator and acting chairman, for his support for Japanese locators during his stint at the Subic Freeport.


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