SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Newly appointed chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Martin Diño formally took over the rein of the Subic agency on Monday in a turn-over ceremony held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center here.
In his first public appearance before employees of SBMA, Diño accepted the official SBMA flag from outgoing Chairman Roberto Garcia and pledged to make Subic the best free port in Asia.
Diño was joined in the turnover by his transition team, members from the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), and son Marvin Diño, who will serve as his chief of staff.
In his acceptance speech, Diño lauded the accomplishments of officials and employees of the SBMA headed by Garcia, noting that they successfully implemented a financial turnaround for the agency.
Diño said that he envisioned a healthier financial status for the SBMA, and that he would strive to make Subic more business-friendly.
“I will work hard to make the best of it,” he added.
“Our sole objective is to make Subic the best free port in Asia,” Diño also said. “Chairman Garcia has already paved the way for Subic towards becoming the number one free port in Asia; it’s our turn to make that happen,” he added.
The former barangay chairman and head of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) also pointed out that while he has no degree in business or recognition from financial institutions, he has a direct line to the President and that he intends to use this to further develop Subic.
He said that when he was offered the position of SBMA chairman, President Duterte asked him to make Subic more attractive to investments, and to make the free port more developed.
Diño also mentioned that the President plans to transfer to Subic half of the transshipment activities in the South and North Harbors in Manila, to help decongest the port and streets of Metro Manila and to maximize Subic’s port capacity.
He also expressed concern for the former Subic volunteers whom he described as the first heroes of SBMA, adding that he will look into how the agency could repay their sacrifices.
Meanwhile, outgoing chairman Garcia highlighted in his turn-over speech his administration’s accomplishments that made Subic the most progressive free port in the country, as well as the Number 1 tourist destination in Central Luzon and Number 4 nationwide.
Garcia also noted that under his administration, the revenue collection of SBMA jumped from P1.39 billion in 2011 to P2.75 billion in 2015, while its total available cash increased from P595 million in 2011 to P2.75 billion 2015.
“These accomplishments had made SBMA the 11th among government-owned and -controlled corporations in terms of dividends remitted to the national government last year,” he said.