SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Despite some unrealized revenue targets as a result of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) recorded a total of P820.84 million in operating revenues in the first quarter of 2021, or a 5.23% increase over the P780.08 million posted in the first quarter last year.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said income from the SBMA Port Authority Group amounting to P374.54 million shored up the agency’s operating revenue by P60 million, thus creating a positive balance even as four other strategic business units (SBUs) recorded decreases in revenue.
“The good news was that the SBMA Seaport managed a 25% increase in port revenue because of a 10% increase in the volume of containerized cargo,” Eisma noted.
“The pandemic might have caused losses to some of our units, but others—like our core business, which is the sea port—are coming out as winners,” she added.
Among the SBMA SBUs that recorded revenue loses is the Business and Investment Group (BIG), a report from the SBMA Financial Planning and Budget Department (FPBD) indicated. BIG’s operating revenue dropped from P373.69 million in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020) to P3 P371.89 million in Q1 2021, or a decrease of P1.8 million (0.48%).
Meanwhile, the Regulatory Group also posted losses, with P22.34 million in Q1 2020 to P8.39 million in Q1 2021, or a decrease of P13.95 million (62.44%); Chairman and Administrator’s Group, from P5.57 million in Q1 2020 to P1.77 million in Q1 2021, or a decrease of P3.8 million (68.28%); and Support Services Group, from P7.63 million in Q1 2020 to P5.92 million in Q1 2021, or a decrease of P1.71 million (22.43%).
The only other group that recorded an increase in operating revenue was the Public Services Group, which posted P56.87 million in Q1 2021, or an increase of P2 million (3.64%) from P54.87 million in Q1 2020.
The SBMA FPBD also said that the agency’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which measures profitability and earnings potential, increased by 8.41% from P36.84 million in the first quarter last year to P474.8 million this year.
Meanwhile, the agency’s operating expenses increased from P293 million in Q1 2020 to P298.35 million in Q1 2021, while operating income rose from P487.08 million in Q1 2020 to P522.49 million in Q1 2021, and bad debts expense decreased from P49.12 million in Q1 2020 to P47.69 million in the same period.
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“We have also recorded substantial income losses in the tourism, and understandably so because of so little visitor traffic since last year. But we have increases, too, in unexpected area,” Eisma revealed.
She said that collections in environmental and tourism fees dropped by 89% to just P3.06 million in the first three months this year, along with a 99% decline in tourism facilities utilities fees; 98.7% drop in tour guide fees; and 100% decline in rental of the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center, which was previously an major income earner.
However, Eisma pointed out that the agency made P241,637 in sports facilities rental at the first quarter this year, compared to zero income last year; P35,000 in location site-shoot, which represented a 116% increase over last year’s figures; and P15,000 in fishing permit collection, which was 113% higher than that last year.