Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Subic adjacent towns tapped as 'catch basin' ....

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Subic-Clark Area Development (SCAD) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) are tapping the adjacent communities of the Subic Freeport as the catch basin for the spill-over effect of the imminent overflow of these investments, an SBMA official said.

"Subic Freeport will soon be overflowing with Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) so we call the adjacent communities of the Subic Freeport to be the catch basin for this," SBMA Administrator Armand C. Arreza said.

He added, "it is high time that these communities benefit directly from these investments aside from the annual one percent share that local government units (LGUs) get from the gross income taxes paid by businesses and enterprises within the Freeport zone.

"In a few years time, the Freeport will be full to the brin with local and foreign investments. The biggest chunk of Freeport territory is the Redondo Peninsula, which is 300 hectares, and has already been taken by Hanjin," he said.

Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) of South Korea will be constructing a shipyard in the Redondo Peninsula infusing a billion-dollar worth of investments to Subic Freeport.

Arreza furthered that it is a clear indication of growth because the SBMA's trust has been for more FDIs to come in so that the country would have more resources to augment the capital generation from the local businesses.

He said that with a good financial package of 5 percent tax incentive and a competitive cost, more FDIs are definitely be attracted to invest in the Freeport.

Presidential Adviser for SCAD Edgardo Pamintuan said that the completion of the Hanjin project will also spur development throughout the area in terms of employment and greater revenues.

He added that with a 20,000 balloon in employment, the shipbuilding firm would eventually hold the title for the biggest employer in Subic Bay. The said shipyard is expected to generate up to 20,000 employment opportunities from the construction to its actual operations.

NEDA President Romulo Neri said that Subic's growth would definitely enhance nearby communities of Subic and Clark, which includes potential of prime areas such as former naval instillation in San Miguel, Zambales and Dinalupihan, Bataan where the Subic-Clark Expressway would pass through.

The representatives fo the three government agencies agreed that with the current state of investment the Subic Freeport is in, they would need to tap communities that are contiguous with Subic Freeport and develop it for prime investments.


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