SUBIC BAY FREEPORT —The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is further strengthening its law enforcement capacity to make the Subic Bay Freeport more attractive to investors and more conducive to trade and tourism.
Towards this end, SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the agency has acquired eight new service vehicles that will be used for patrol operations by the SBMA Law Enforcement Department. One of these will be used for emergency response by the SBMA Fire Department, as well.
The vehicles are black, manual versions of the locally-available Ford Ranger pick-up trucks that can tow and carry huge loads, yet are easy to drive.
The trucks cost a total of P9.8 million and were acquired through the agency-to-agency procurement service of the Department of Budget and Management.
“It’s part of our desire to level up security and safety in the Subic Bay Freeport,” Garcia said of the procurement. “We need reliable service vehicles so that we can respond to security and emergency calls faster and safer.”
Garcia said the procurement of the patrol vehicles is just the start of the SBMA’s capital expenditure program this year, after the agency made an outstanding financial performance in 2013 with a recorded all-time high net profit of P1 billion.
“More good things are coming our way, because we now have the means to have them,” he said.
Garcia added that the SBMA also intends to buy new dump trucks, undertake road repairs and improve infrastructure as part of its investment promotion program.
During the symbolic presentation of the vehicles on Monday, Garcia told SBMA employees that seven units of the new pickup trucks will be assigned to law enforcers and one to the Fire Department as a reward for winning the Gawad Kalasag Award in October 2013.
The new vehicles “will surely augment our capability to respond to emergencies,” Garcia added.
The SBMA head also congratulated the SBMA Procurement and Property Management Department (PPMD) for successfully going through a complicated process to acquire the new vehicles.
According to PPMD manager Marco Estabillo, the agency-to-agency mode of procurement was made possible through R.A. 9184, which provides for the modernization, standardization and regulation of the procurement activities of the government.
Estabillo added that for this particular procurement, the SBMA saved P2.2 million from the approved budget allocation of P12 million.
He also disclosed that some P224 million is yet to be spent for 70 more units of service vehicles for 2014, which include some watercraft and fire trucks.
According to PPMD records, prior to this procurement, the last time the SBMA procured vehicles was in 2008 when it bought five new service vehicles worth P10.2 million.