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SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto V.  Garcia summed-up his first State of the Freeport Address (SOFA) with this statement: “Let the lessons of the past and the opportunities of today help us realize the vision of the New Subic that we dream of.”

Speaking before SBMA officials and members of the fledgling Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC), Garcia veered from the  usual perennial rosy-picture painting of previous SBMA administrations, and revealed the true state of the freeport by admitting that the agency “never ever really made money.”

Since its creation in 1992, he said, SBMA has incurred a total cumulative loss of some P7 billion, P1.2 B in 2011 alone.

Assets like the airport and the container port terminal have been, and still are, grossly under-utilized, he added, on top of run-down aged facilities and equipment, lack of available lands for new investors and low lease rates of current locators and maturing debts, all add up to the current dire state of the freeport.

“The situation calls for radical solutions,” Garcia told the mesmerized crowd at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC). This includes a five-year strategic plan that would develop tourism niche markets by focusing the  Freeport’s operations into becoming the theme park capital of the country,  a top sports tourism destination and an eco-tourism and cruise ship destination.

He also aims to promote maritime businesses by attracting maritime logistics players to do business in  Subic. Garcia, further, wants to match business interests of major Luzon shippers and shipping lines, maximize the Vale ore transshipment project, develope Subic as homebase for super yachts, and increase boat & ship repair and maintenance facilities.

Also part of the five-year plan is the development of housing areas with high-end residences, middle-class housing and workers’ dormitories.


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  1. cornelio ragadio jr says: March 12, 2012

    this is old news. what SBMA needs to do is have a ferry service from SBMA to Manila or other parts of PI, start commuter flights from SBMA airport to Manila /Clark / other parts of PI the reason for this is so that people from Zambales do not have to drive their cars or ride the bus to go to these places. there was a ferry service and flights to Manila before. for the flights they can use small turbo-planes with a capacity of 20 to 30 pax. i am sure that a feasibility study will show that we need this. also another question is when and if the main gate is to be open? is this bridge to be torn down and a new one built?

    • admin says: March 22, 2012

      …the current SBMA board and administration should take a serious look your suggestions… and yes, the Main Gate bridge… need to know…

      • Proquepio Bayagbag says: April 11, 2013

        If SBMA fixes the bridge, where will Mayor Gordon gets his money from the nite market?

  2. bill e says: April 12, 2012

    The various facilities are underutilized and many of them are cruel jokes. The issue of ferry service is top notch, suggestion wise. Likewise the use of Cubi Airport for international and PH bound .

    Take a look at what has happened. Much to the dismay of many, the former base looks more like the aftermath of WWII Germany, than the beginning of a modern and forward looking enclave.

    Regarding the main gate; why so long?? It seems to have taken a little over a year for Kalaklan, yet, nearly five years for the main gate.

    Perhaps having one way OUT traffic via the main gate and one way IN traffic via the Gordon Gate would ease traffic flow..

    As to why Alaya and SM opted to challenge each other, I am left at a loss for words..

    • admin says: April 12, 2012

      thank you for the comments…

  3. Noel S. Archidde says: July 16, 2013

    The SOFA statement made by SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia contained a clear admission that the SBMA “never ever really made money” at all since inception of its operation, instead it is continuously incurring the huge losses.
    In my opinion he should not restrict his 5 years recovery plan to sports and eco-tourism. The Free Zone Act established the SBMA to operate as a tax free center for processing, manufacturing, assemblage of goods that encourages transfer of technology and enhanced foreign exchange earnings through diverse interest in commercial activities.
    SBMA has an existing Sea and AIr Port facilities, that if the utilization of its Cargo Handling and General Services related to Commercial/project cargo, Petroleum product/bunkering and its Agency/Pilotage activities is primarily regulated to maximize the collection of services and tax revenue, I believe cash-in-flow for Government will be realized.
    SBMA has also its Camp houses and Port warehouses facilities and stacking area to cater to the clients needs which can also increases SBMA revenue. If my recommendation should be given a chance to effect in SBMA, we can assures of a profitable business operation while simultaneously introducing the other strategies as per his prerogative.
    We have been applying this approach in Nigeria Free Zone and is it a very successful system which generate huge revenue and creates long-term employment to both local and expatriate employees.

  4. Noel S. Archide says: July 16, 2013


  5. Noel S. Archide says: July 16, 2013

    The SOFA message of the Chairman Roberto V. Garcia, call to confirm that the SBMA “never ever really made money” since the inception of its operation and in fact it continuously incurring the huge losses.
    In my opinion his 5 years development recovery plan should no be restricted to the “sports and eco-tourism program.
    The Free Zone established the SBMA as a free tax center for processing, manufacturing and assemblage of goods that encourages the transfer of technology.
    SBMA has its present Sea and Air ports facilities, thus its Cargo handling/general services for the related commercial and project cargoes, and also its Agency/pilotage activities are to be maximized the collection of services and tax revenue, SBMA can be able to generate a huge income. SBMA has also the Camp houses and Port warehouses facilities to cater for the clients so to increase its revenue.
    We have been applying this approaches in Nigeria Free Zone, and it promotes a big income generation to the Government and also provides a long-term employment for both the locals and expatriates. Thanks

  6. Fernandito Lanada says: August 4, 2013

    1.i am sure the brains within sbma are ready to integrate,compete,cooperate,synergize with the 9 other asean countries when AEC goes on stream in 2015?
    2.fully realize that this 2013,we ARE already in the demographic bonus,and those out of school 15-30 year olds have to be trained and ojt’d in the various locators within sbfz,before they deploy globally earning $?
    3.steps now in place to prime everyone of an apec 2015 being held in sbfz,with all its attendant oppurtunities and challenges?
    ywes,we can.And full steam ahead teama robert garcia!we are only a few clicks away

  7. Fernandito Lanada says: August 12, 2013

    I disagree to the sweeping statement that:”Since its creation in 1992, he said, SBMA has incurred a total cumulative loss of some P7 billion, P1.2 B in 2011 alone.” When Dick Gordon left,ry.”Awash with cash from 1992-the year dick left,right sbma insiders?When tong payumo came,they just bought everything left and right without putting the fund to pay up $-denominated debts.it has been a spiral downwards until 2013,when roberto garcia is expected to turn it around the way he said he did it with car world,right,obet?

  8. Fernandito Lanada says: August 12, 2013

    i mean when da flash left sbma,US$43m was in the coffers,ask the team tht left with him.only payumo and his team spent everything without putting into the fund to pay up $-denominated debts….ask around


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