SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will not hesitate to shut down the operation of truck trading companies here that violate SBMA rules and policies and the terms and conditions of their lease contract with the Subic agency.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said errant truck traders will only have until June 1 to comply with SBMA requirements before their registration as business locators in the Subic Bay Freeport are revoked or cancelled.
“I am sick and tired of businesses not following SBMA rules and regulations. I am sick and tired of businesses who think they could get away with (violating rules),” Eisma said during a meeting with truck traders here at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center on Monday.
Eisma issued the warning after the SBMA found at least 11 violations and issues committed by several truck trading firms in the Freeport. These included problems on working visa and royalty, as well as violation of policies on working permit, importation, use of marshalling yard, subleasing, occupancy and use of leased property, parking, and environment.
According to the SBMA General Business and Logistics Departments, there are now 88 vehicle trading companies operating in Subic, the only free port wherein the importation of used vehicles and heavy equipment from abroad is allowed by law.
During the meeting, Eisma specifically railed against the practice by some truck traders to secure only one work permit for multiple employees, the sponsorship of foreign workers to secure work visa for a fee, and the use of one company’s importation privileges by another firm also for a fee.
“It has been brought to my attention by the Bureau of Immigration that some of your employees are out here working without working visas. If your work visa is only for one company, you cannot work for another company here in Subic,” Eisma told the traders and their staff.
Eisma said that the SBMA has submitted the names of erring companies to the Bureau of Immigration. “If I were you, I will fix this problem before the investigators come,” she said.
The SBMA official also stressed that the locators’ importation privileges are provided for under their individual Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption (CRTE), and hence was not transferable.
“If you allow your importation privileges to be used by somebody else, and make it appear as yours, it is a violation of the SBMA rules and regulations. For this, I will not hesitate to pre-terminate your contract,” Eisma said.
Eisma also noted that the huge time lapse in the admission permit issuance against the actual pullout of equipment and trucks is another violation. “There are so many trucks out there that have been categorized as for pullout, but they have been there for as long as three months,” she pointed out.
She also noted that some companies were found to be importing more than the volume allowed for their leased areas, thus leading to the illegal parking of these imports on the side of the roads.
“These heavy machinery and trucks that are parked on the side of the road are a bane to road users and should be pulled out within the allowed given time,” she added.
Eisma warned the business locators that the SBMA has the power to pre-terminate contracts, including those that govern industrial parks inside the Subic Bay Freeport, without need for court action upon any violation by the lessee of the terms and conditions of its lease agreement with the SBMA.
The SBMA may also revoke, suspend of cancel the registration of any company given the permit to operate in Subic if the firm violates any of the terms and conditions of its lease with the SBMA, Eisma added.