Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority

LGU shares from SBMA earnings drop to almost 30% due to COVID-19

Randy V. Datu
8 LGUs neighboring the Subic Bay Freeport benefit from this revenue sharing scheme

The raging coronavirus pandemic cuts more than a quarter from the revenue share to be turned over by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to the 8 local government units (LGUs) neighboring the Subic Bay Freeport.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said Thursday, January 28, the agency would release next week a total of P123.1 million, which came from the freeport’s revenue collections between July and December 2020 and the retained amount from the 2018 second semester LGU share.

“The release for this period is 29.9% lower than the shares for the same period last year, which was P175.7 million. And this goes to show how much the COVID-19 health crisis has impacted—and continues to impact—Freeport operations,” Eisma said.

Still, Eisma said, this shows “that despite COVID-19, the SBMA and business locators in the Freeport have sustained economic growth and that Subic Bay will continue to be a catalyst for development in this part of the country.”

The LGUs which benefit from these revenue sharing scheme are Olongapo City, Subic, San Marcelino, Castillejos, and San Antonio in Zambales, and Dinalupihan, Hermosa, and Morong in Bataan.

The SBMA said it would release the shares to LGU officials in staggered schedules beginning next week.

Here’s a breakdown of the share of the LGUs for the period:

  • Olongapo City – P28,631,819.10;
  • Subic, Zambales – P18,820,655.14;
  • Dinalupihan, Bataan P15,311,741.98;
  • San Marcelino, Zambales P14,753,996.41;
  • Hermosa, Bataan P12,818,258.50;
  • Castillejos, Zambales P11,522,821.52;
  • Morong, Bataan P10,697,853.76;
  • San Antonio, Zambales P10,549,471.67.

LGU share is determined according to population (50%), land area (25%), and equal sharing (25%). 

Olongapo, which is a highly urbanized city, always receives the biggest chunk of the shares.

The shares constitute 2% of the 5% gross corporate income taxes paid by business enterprises inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. These were intended to augment LGU funds for tourism, infrastructure, education, peace and order, health, and livelihood generation.

However, because of the scourge of COVID-19 last year some LGUs said they have used part of the shares to health and safety programs to fight pandemic

The LGU shares are released twice a year, with tax collections from January to June handed out in August, and collections from July to December distributed in February the following year. 

For the entire 2020, the SBMA has released a total of P277.98 million in revenue shares to 7 municipalities and one city near the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.  – Rappler.com