SBMA Chief Says Subic still best retirement haven

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Subic is still the best place for retirement.

This was the message by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Roberto Garcia to visiting Filipino-American delegates during the 22nd Trade Mission to the Philippines, a workshop-conference organized by the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC).

Garcia, who was keynote speaker in the conference dubbed “Global Citizenship: The Filipino American Experience,” updated the delegates on the strategic advantages of doing business or retiring in Subic.

“Aside from scenic views and friendly environment, Subic is a much secured area,” Garcia said, noting that the Subic Bay Freeport is securely bounded by perimeter fences and has a very good law enforcement unit that is well-known for its expertise and alertness.

Garcia added that Subic is also primed to push its advantage in medical tourism, having recently opened two world-class hospitals that cater to retirees and provide excellent medical services at very affordable rates.

“Subic is a very attractive place for tourists and retirees alike, providing both an eco-friendly environment and a cost-effective locality,” Garcia also pointed out.

Citing the experience of a Japanese friend who is paying P150,000 monthly for services in a nursing home where his aged mother stays, Garcia said this same amount “can already buy him a very nice house and lot with 24-hour service nurse here.”

“Now, my Japanese friend is considering retiring in the Philippines,” he added.

The recent trade mission here coincided with the annual outreach project of the American Services Division of the US Embassy in Manila for the large American resident community in the Subic Bay area.

On the same occasion, US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas personally answered some queries and concerns from the American community here.

Also invited to the same occasion were Carlo Ponti Zialcita, officer in charge of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) at its Subic-Clark office, who talked about “The Philippines and Subic/Clark as a Retirement Community Destination”; Darrin Morgan, regional federal benefits officer at the US Embassy; and Dr. Dean Alegado, president of DT Alegado Consulting Group, who discussed issues and concerns related to retiring in the Philippines.

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