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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – Newly installed chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Eduardo Aliño, said when he officially assumed the job Monday, January 22, he sees improvement and potential developments inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Aliño is no stranger to Subic. He was the former president and chair of STAR Group of Companies since 2018, former chair of Subic Bay Yacht Club from 2015 to 2018 and January to December 2023. He was also the vice president and chair of Mega Equipment International Corporation for 36 years.
Aliño resigned from the executive positions he held for many years before he assumed position as the new SBMA Administrator due to conflict of interest. This, despite Aliño’s assurance saying that there will not be any conflict in serving as both chair and SBMA locator during his first press briefing with the media.
There will be transparency in his management as he intends to develop Subic Bay, he said.
Aliño said his mandate was to improve and develop the freeport zone, help its people, and “sell” Subic Bay to both local and foreign investors from countries like Japan among others.
“I have always been a sales representative all my life. This time it’s all about selling. I want to sell SBMA to not only locally but definitely abroad, internationally. We are trying to attract investors. We have the port, infrastructure, good governance, the people who are here we will definitely support them. When those things happen, everything becomes easy,” Aliño said during the press briefing.
“2023 was basically a good year for SBMA. We will be able to determine where we are lacking. Hopefully, with the blessing, I would say I am very positive for SBMA,” he added. “I promise I will be fair (and) honest. I don’t have an agenda right now here at this job other than for you to give me a chance to help you. That is my objective.”
On existing issues about the erring locators inside the freeport zone, Aliño said that he would show regard to the facts and figures and understand the situation to move forward favorably.
“First of all, it is part of the business. We don’t see everything. If it’s necessary, try to understand their position, what happened to them. Only the facts and figures will tell us what to do. Let’s understand. We will try to go forward as positively as possible,” he said.
As for the issue surrounding the Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc, Aliño said he will leave the decision up to the Supreme Court (SC).
The SC awarded Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. the development, operation, and management of seaports inside the freeport zone, according to media reports.
Aliño is the third to assume the position of SBMA administrator in two years. He was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and took an oath on January 12 in Malacañang Palace.
He replaced Jonathan Tan, who resigned from his position and is now undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. – Rappler.com