SBMA ends 2015 with 10-fold surge in spending budget
MANILA, Philippines – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) saw its capital spending budget surge by 10-fold last year after it addressed lack of funds in several infrastructure deals.
SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said in a statement that his office approved a total of P302.5 million ($6.32 million) last year, which is a 957% increase from 2014’s P28.6 million ($597,431.48).
This is to fund 8 major infrastructure projects that weren’t implemented years ago due to lack of budget.
"The amount [of capital spending in the past years] was insufficient; but at least, we were able to start minor repairs on our roads and buildings," Garcia said.
In 2013, Garcia said the SBMA had "very limited cash" to fund even minor repairs of its roads and buildings.
But "because of the dedication of SBMA officials and employees to improve the agency’s performance in 2014, the agency managed to allocate P28.6 million ($597,431.48) for infrastructure," the SBMA official said.
The SBMA further increased its spending budget in 2015 to P302.5 million ($6.32 million) for 8 major infrastructure projects.
Some of these deals include the improvement of road networks at the Naval Supply Depot area, the renovation of the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center, as well as the construction of a sentry booth and a medical-dental clinic at the Aeta tribal village in Pastolan, Hermosa, Bataan.
The SBMA's 2015 spending budget is part of the P800-million ($16.71-million) capital expenditure being used to repair service roads, buy new vehicles, and renovate SBMA buildings and facilities in the free port.
In the past years, the SMBA chairman said the shortage of funds led to "some embarrassing situations" like investors seeing water dripping from the building's ceiling.
"That is why as a reward for another successful year, we have allotted P3.19 million ($66,635.39) for the repair and waterproofing of the concrete roof at Building 229, which is the SBMA administration building," Garcia said.
The Naval Supply Depot, which is one of the infrastructure deals funded by the SBMA, is being used as an unloading, warehousing, and stockpiling area for imported bulk grains, as well as containerized and non-containerized items.
Meanwhile, the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center is undergoing major renovation, general repainting, and upgrading of interior fixtures, the SBMA said.
The convention center will be used for some upcoming events, such as the Ad Summit 2016. – Rappler.com
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