SBMA expands to Zambales

Randy Datu

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The local government of San Antonio, Zambales turns over some 10,000 hectares to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority

TURNOVER. San Antonio, Zambales town Mayor Estela D. Antipolo (left) hands over to SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia a copy of a resolution declaring a portion of the town's southern coastal tip as an eco-tourism zone. The area is being eyed for development by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) under its expansion program. Also in photo are Vice-Mayor Lugil Ragadio and SBMA Deputy Administrator for Legal Affairs Atty. Randy B. Escolango (extreme left). Photo by Randy Datu/Rappler

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – The fenced area of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) formally expands to Zambales as the local government of San Antonio, Zambales turned over to SBMA an area covering 10,000 hectares for development.

The turnover was done by virtue of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 13-080 dated November 19, 2013. The resolution awarded 10,000 hectares of land and water, now known as the San Antonio Economic Development Area, to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The resolution provided that Sitio Silangin, Nagsasa and Talisayin – all in the Redondo Peninsula – are now part of the freeport zone and entitled to tax and duty-free privileges.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia formally received the copy of the resolution from San Antonio Mayor Estella Antipolo during the turnover ceremony at the SBMA board room on December 2.

He said that the decision was very timely since the freeport already lacks land area it could offer to foreign investors for development.

“Many foreign investors have signified interests in putting up investments in Subic. However, there are only less than 300 hectares of land available within the fenced area,” noted Garcia.

“So the resolution comes at a very good time because of the high interest of foreign investors in the Philippines. We should take advantage of this,” he said, stressing the investors’ confidence in the country is strong.

Facilitating the turnover was SBMA Deputy Administrator for Legal Affairs Atty. Randy Escolango.

“This is certainly a most welcome development. It further strengthens ties between San Antonio headed by its effective mayor, Estella Antipolo, and SBMA. The area will become a catalyst to further fuel positive change in the fields of industrial advancement, investment and eco tourism,” Escolango said.

Antipolo, for her part, said the resolution was passed to ensure the progress of San Antonio.

“We are doing this for the welfare of the people, to ensure economic prosperity, increase revenue for the local government and provide employment opportunities for the people of San Antonio,” she said.

Antipolo assured everyone that the local government will do its part in attracting investors through programs that will promote transparency in government and cut red tape in business transactions.

“On behalf of the people of San Antonio, I look forward to an enhanced cooperation between our offices,” she said. –

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