The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) on Wednesday has approved 43 contracts of new investment commitments, as well as renewal of leases for investor-companies, worth some $14.4 million (P720 M).
“SBMA is on its way to another record-breaking year in terms of investment generation,” SBMA OIC Administrator Randy Escolango said during a mass contract-signing ceremony held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center.
Escolango added that since the year 2012, SBMA has also sustained record revenue collections that saw the agency rise from a bleeding agency to become a top contributor to the national coffers among Government Owned & Controlled Corporations (OGCC), with accumulated funds of some P4B in the bank.
The new contracts and renewals involved 12 projects under the general business and investment department; two for information and communications technology; 18 for leisure; seven for logistics; and another two for manufacturing and maritime.
The new investments, Esclango said, manifest the continuing confidence of the investor community in the Subic Bay Freeport, pointing out that the SBMA has already approved a total of P111.5-billion worth of investments since January until September this year.
“With a 7% growth in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for next year, and with Central Luzon contributing about 10-12% of the GDP, it cannot be denied that the Subic Bay Freeport Zone contributes significantly to national economic growth,” Escolango also said.
According to Ronnie Yambao, OIC deputy administrator for the SBMA Business Group, the projected investments to be generated under the 43 new contracts totaled $14,409,443. This is on top of the $728.6 million total that the said firms have initially committed to invest in this free port.
Leading the list of new companies with significant committed investments are Broadband Broadcast Services, Pte. Ltd., with P220 million for a cable and pay television services venture that would employ 88 personnel; and Autokid Subic Trading Corp., which has set aside P25 million for a project that would employ 25 workers.
Meanwhile, companies with substantial commitments for expansion projects include Subic Horizon Hotel, which has set aside P60 million for additional hotel facilities; Royal Duty Free Shops, which allotted P50 million for the renovation of its main store in this free port; and GigaMare Inc., with $204,500 worth of additional investments for its maritime training facility here.
It was the first time in almost six years that the SBMA again conducted a mass contract-signing ceremony for Subic-registered companies.
Rose Baldeo, president of Global Terminals & Development Inc. and chairperson of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, said the occasion “is a sign that the SBMA is moving forward” despite a recent leadership row in the agency that has reportedly stalled some investor-related business operations.
In response, Yambao assured the business locators here that the SBMA is ready to provide them with “fast, flexible and friendly” service.
SBMA Sr. Deputy Administrator for Support Services Ramon Agregado also assured the agency’s unwavering support and its commitment to transparency, citing the recent launch of the one-stop shop and SBMA’s continuous ISO and management reforms. (30)