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News & Events


Welcome to SBFCC!


The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, a member of the national Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is an independent, nonprofit, membership-funded organization founded in 1995 to serve and represent the interests of its member businesses. We are also an accredited marketer of the Philippine Retirement Authority.

We are actively involved in a number of areas and are in the forefront of issues affecting our member businesses, their employees, and their families.

The single distinguishing characteristic that sets SBFCC apart from other Chambers of Commerce is that our members come from some 20 countries around the world.


Chamber News & Events


2014 Mid-Year General Membership Meeting

A successful mid-year general membership meeting was held last June 25, 2014 at The Subic Bay Yacht Club with Guest Speakers SBMA Chairman and Administrator Roberto V. Garcia and Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino.

SBFCC President Ms. Rose Baldeo reported on memberships, financials, updates and accomplishments of the Chamber.

Chairman Garcia talked briefly about the 2014 updates inside the Freeport Zone. Mayor Paulino, on the other hand, discussed also the updates in Olongapo City



SBFCC Charity Mission For the Province of Leyte

June 5 and 6 2014, the SBFCC went on an outreach mission to the Province of Leyte, particularly in Tacloban and the Municipality of Tanauan to determine the necessary assistance that the Chamber could provide to the victims of typhoon “Yolanda”.

The initial purpose of the Chamber was to donate for the rehabilitation and construction of classrooms at Barrio Guindag-an, a remote Barangay in Tanauan Leyte. But when Pres. Rose, Chairman Emeritus Danny and specifically Dir. Lewis saw that the urgent need is to have a clean water supply and to rebuild the Barangay Hall of Guindag-an, Pres. Rose decided to carry on the rehabilitation of the school building and the reconstruction of San Roque Chapel in Barangay San Roque, also in Tanauan Leyte.

The SBFCC contingents while conducting an on-site inspection of Barrio Guindag-an Elementary School in Tanauan Leyte.


Under one of the make-shift classrooms, Pres. Rose played the role of a teacher to the Grade 4 students of Guindag-an Elementary School.



Result of the SBFCC Board of Directors Election

The results of the SBFCC Board of Directors election have been tabulated and the new officers were announced at last night?s General Membership Meeting.

The following have the top four votes from corporate members:

  • Rose Baldeo
  • Danny Piano
  • Dante Pollescas
  • Lewis Strickland

At yesterday's Board meeting, the newly elected and retained directors voted for its officers. Prof. Danny Piano, who was voted in as director, had to beg off due to a sudden serious health problem of a family member. Lawrence Lusung was then appointed by the Board as replacement director.

Here are the SBFCC Officers for 2014:

  • Rose Baldeo - President
  • Dante Pollescas - Vice President
  • Romeo Duran - Corporate Secretary
  • Lawrence Lusung - Treasurer
  • Tom De Bruin - Director
  • Lewis Strickland - Director
  • Jun Avecilla - Director


SBFCC Board of Directors Election

September 16 - October 11 - NOMINATION PROCESS BEGINS: Corporate members in good standing may nominate their choice(s) for next year's Board.

October 14 - October 25 - CANDIDATE SELECTION Those nominated are asked for their minimum 10 hours per month written, voluntary commitment to serve on the Board. If willing, they will be declared as official candidates in the voting process.

November 4 - November 15 - VOTING PROCESS BEGINS Based on confirmed candidates who have verified they are willing to serve. Ballots are forwarded to all Corporate members who are asked to VOTE for the candidate(s) of their choice.

November 18 - November 22 - TABULATION Votes are tabulated by the delegated Returning Officer and scrutinized by the Election Committee.

November 26 - ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS Election Results with names of new Board members are announced. Prior to end of December, the remaining members of the 2013 board will join the newly elected Board members to select Officers for fiscal year 2014.

There will be four seats to fill during this election. Directors having one more year to serve include Atty Romeo Duran, Tom de Bruin, and Jun Avecilla. Those running for re-election are Danny Piano, Rose Baldeo, Lawrence Lusung, and Lewis Strickland.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at 252-3180 or email admin@sbfcc.com.

Please click here to visit our Online Forum and know more about the election. We will be posting information about the candidates as soon as those become available.


State of the Freeport Address 2014 (SOFA) 2014

The SBFCC also organized the much awaited State of the Freeport Address (SOFA) 2014



U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg visited the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce

The received U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Hon. Philip Goldberg who visited the Chamber Office last March 3, 2014.



Improved Emergency Communications

Five units of professional two-way radios were donated to Olongapo City's Fire Department recently.

Prof. Danny Piano, Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce president, handed his personal donation during the city's flag raising ceremony. Piano, who visited the Fire Department a week before, was surprised to learn that the department no longer has working two-way radios. He quickly arranged to provide the necessary equipment.

Witnesses to the handing over of the radios were newly elected Mayor Rolen Paulino, First District Congressman Konghun, Vice Mayor Cerezo, city councilors and officers, and former councilor Edwin Piano who arranged the purchase of the equipment in Manila.

Fire Marshall Jonas Silvano who replaced the previous city fire chief a month ago appreciated the donation which he said will certainly improve the communications amongst themselves and with other government agencies, especially during disasters and other emergencies.



Vessel Tracking Antenna Installed in Subic Bay

The Subic Chamber, in collaboration with the Lighthouse Marina Resort, recently installed an Automatic Identification System (AIS) vessel tracking base station.

The AIS is an automatic tracking system used for identifying and locating sea vessels. Information provided by transponders installed on seagoing vessels include unique identification, position, course, and speed. The international maritime convention requires AIS transponders to be fitted aboard international voyaging ships with 300 or more gross tonnage, and all passenger ships regardless of size.

The Subic Chamber's interest in installing an AIS antenna began when it requested and cannot get from the coast guard tracking data during the waste dumping issue last year.

President Danny Piano made arrangements with a German company (vesseltracker.com) and was able to get the equipment for free in return for operating and maintaining the antenna.



Induction of the 2013 SBFCC Board of Directors

She 2013 Board of Directors of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) were inducted by SBMA Chairman and Administrator Roberto Garcia during the occasion of the State of the Freeport Address (SOFA) held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) last March 18.

The Chamber directors accepted the positions and swore to its members to accept all responsibilities pertaining to the organization.

The Oath read: I solemnly pledge, to do everything within my capabilities and power, to uphold the trust they have reposed in me, and to exert every effort to live up to their expectations, and uphold faithfully, the Constitution and By-laws of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, without mental reservation and purpose evasion.


The directors present during the induction were President Danny Piano, Vice-President Rose Baldeo, Treasurer Lawrence Lusung, and Directors Tom De Bruin, Lewis Strickland, and Jun Avecilla. Corporate Secretary Romeo Duran was not able to make it due to an urgent matter.

The seven-person SBFCC Board of Directors have two year terms. Elections are conducted yearly on a staggered basis where three positions are up for grabs one year and four positions the next year. Only representatives of Corporate members of good standing are eligible to run for a directorship position.


Senate Finds Glenn Defense in Violation of Philippine Laws

Senator Loren Legarda, last February 6, reported on the result of the three-month long joint investigation conducted by the Committee on Foreign Relations which she chairs, and Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, headed by Senator Chiz Escudero, on the alleged dumping of wastes by MT Glenn Guardian, a vessel owned by Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines, in seawaters abutting Subic Bay.

The 134-page report, with wide-ranging inputs from a number of resource persons and various stakeholders including the Subic Chamber, was comprehensive.

It found Glenn Defense guilty of non-compliance with the country's environmental and marine protection laws.

It also instructed the pertinent government agencies to initiate administrative proceedings and to conduct further investigation to determine if the filing of a civil or criminal case is warranted.



Happy New Year!

Bigger, better; this seemed to be the impression one gets from the celebrations and events that ended 2012. This can only mean one thing, progress had been achieved.

Olongapo City's prelude to its Fiesta, the Beauty Queen Coronation Night even had Asia's Queen of Songs, Pilita Corrales, as guest. It was an honor for the Chamber President to address the crowd during that special night.

The Fiesta parade that followed late in December was also one of the most participated parades seen in years. Marching bands, floats, and various organizations all joined in a more than kilometer-long column that started at the Freeport's Rizal Gate and ended at Rizal Triangle.

Even the Toys for Tots program of the Subic Chamber and TATAG's Children Christmas Party had more than triple the attendees compared to 2011.

The year ended with more than 13,000 enthusiastic folks proceeding to the Freeport's Boardwalk to join the New Year countdown and watch the breathtaking fireworks.

A pretty good year indeed! Here's looking forward to another!



Toys for Tots Campaign

BHundreds of underpriviledged children were handed with toys during the Christmas holidays, courtesy of kind-hearted and gracious donors from the Subic Chamber.

This is the second year that the Subic Chamber, in collaboration with the TATAG Foundation, had embarked on the Annual Toys for Tots Program. The objective of the program is to bring joy and smiles on faces of the less fortunate children and to provide a message of hope that will assist them in becoming responsible citizens.



SBFCC Receives Scroll of Honor

The Subic Chamber received the prestigious Scroll of Honor Award from the Philippine Red Cross for recognition and deepest appreciation of sustained collaboration in the Red Cross ideal of serving for the well-being of man.


Click here to view the full image.


Subic Chamber receives commendation from the Philippine Red Cross

For having consistently and regularly donated hundreds of units of blood through its annual Blood Drives, the Philippine Red Cross awarded the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce its Diploma of Service.

The SBFCC Annual Blood Drive, which was started five years ago, consistently draws many volunteers and donors from all walks of life. This is yet another recognition given to the Subic Chamber for its many social programs.



1st Subic Bay Safety Summit

The very first and historic Subic Safety Summit was held recently at the Subic Bay Freeport with the theme "Safe...Safer...Safest" Subic Freeport.? It was a collaboration by the newly launched non-profit Subic Safety Organization, PEME Consultancy, SBMA, and SBFCC.

The whole day event tackled the importance of safety in the Subic Bay Freeport, government regulations in safety & health, and others. It also launched the newly formed non-profit Subic Safety Organization where participants became automatic members of the organization. Guest speakers include SBMA Chairman & Administrator Roberto Garcia, SBMA Director Norberto Sosa, SBMA Public Health & Safety Manager Solomon Jacalne, DOLE-BWC Consultant Jaime Reyes, PEME President Donald Manalo, PEME Consultant Allan Cuya, and SBFCC President Danny Piano.



Induction of 2012 Chamber Officers

Chairman Garcia inducted the 2012 officers of the Subic Chamber during the recent SOFA. From the left are Treasurer Lawrence Lusung, Corp Sec Romeo Duran, Chairman Garcia, Director Lewis Strickland, Vice President Rose Baldeo, and President Danny Piano.



Recognition

The Subic Chamber recognized and gave a Certificate of Recognition to DTI-Zambales for its significantly improved and streamlined services, fair and equal treatment of customers, and clean and honest governance worthy of emulation by other government agencies.



Subic Chamber now ECOP member

The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) is now officially a member of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP).

The SBFCC started collaborating with ECOP since last year, particularly on matters regarding the minimum wage and on the KAPATID Awards. The Subic Chamber nominated five Subic Bay Freeport companies to the ECOP Kapatiran sa Industriya [Partnership in the Industry] 2011 Awards. One, Absolute Service Inc (ASI) came up as one of the winners. Twenty eight companies from across the nation were originally nominated. This was trimmed down to 13 from where the winners were eventually picked. Finalists included Nestle, Dole Phils, Toyota, Bridgestone, and IBM Phils among others. Dole Phils bagged the grand award. ASI received the "Strategic Local Talent Development" special award.

Absolute Service Inc president Danny Piano, who is also the current president of the SBFCC, received the award presented by Philippine President Noynoy Aquino.


ECOP is recognized by the Philippine government, through Presidential Letter of Instruction (LOI) 688 of 1978, as the single voice of employers, to be consulted by the government, together with labor, in the promulgation of a scheme which would promote and sustain an adequate machinery for cooperation between labor and management at appropriate levels of the enterprise.


SBFCC Relief Donations

The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce was able to successfully distribute two batches of relief donations to victims of typhoon Pedring recently.

The first batch was distributed to two areas in Olongapo City, one on the evacuation center at Barangay Sta. Rita while the other was at the Nagbaculao cliff-side of Barangay Kalaklan.

The second batch was distributed to one of the hardest hit areas in Luzon,Calumpit, Bulacan.

The Chamber thanks all the donors and volunteers who kind-heartedly provided cash, goods, and support. As we distributed our relief goods to the disaster victims, the resulting glimmer of hope from their otherwise desperate eyes, set on miserable and bleak surroundings, is enough indication that the Subic Chamber, once again, made a difference on the lives of others.

Our donations were immensely appreciated!



Subic Freeport chief brushes off move to close facility

A top official of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) brushed off the suggestion of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. that this Freeport should be closed to curb oil smuggling.

SBFCC President Danny Piano said Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp President Edgar Chua could have made that statement in an emotional haste. He also clarified that the economy in Subic Bay Freeport is not only worth P10 billion, but its exports alone already amounted to more than P50 billion.

We are talking about affecting more than a thousand businesses and about 100,000 workers in those two areas who are going to lose their jobs. The social impact is certainly worth more than the taxes in question,? said Piano.

Chua in a report proposed shutting down major Freeport zone in the country to curb oil smuggling, which he said eroded tax revenues of the government by up to P30 billion a year.

Chua was also quoted saying that Subic Bay Freeport and Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental have been the main entry point for oil smuggling.

I do sympathize with Mr. Chua, though, regarding the rampant smuggling of oil although I think this is not limited to Subic or Phividec. But no, I disagree with the blanket statement that locators are abusing their tax-free privilege. That is certainly not the case,? added Piano.

The Freeport head pointed out that oil smuggling is a long standing Bureau of Customs problem which is not procedurally difficult to control.

It's not like oil tankers can sneak unseen in the first place,? he emphasized. -by Anthony Bayarong, Philippine Star


2011 International Coastal Cleanup

Kids are just amazing! Heavy rains did not even hinder their enthusiasm one bit. They continued to remove thrash from our coastlines and waterways with passion and gusto. You'd wonder if the world is better off with kids running the show instead of politicians. :)

The organizers of the Subic Bay Coastal Cleanup thank those who participated in the event. Click here to see pictures.



MOA Signing Between Central Luzon Chamber Presidents

Chamber of Commerce presidents from Region III including the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales signed a Memorandum of Agreement signifying the cooperation and collaboration between the different areas.




Message from the President

MY SECOND THOUGHTS: A BRIEF ARTICLE ABOUT STEPPING BACK & TAKING A SECOND LOOK

By: Rose B. Baldeo, SBFCC President


Keep Calm and Compose Your Self

When confronted with so many things, so many issues, so many problems and all of these seem to be happening, all at the same time; pause, take a knee, close your eyes, breathe it all in, open your eyes and look again. It’s always best practice to compose your self well before meeting head-on, any adversity or for this particular topic; adversities.

The Chamber recently encountered several issues which could possibly affect businesses inside the Freeport Zone. Two of which were the recent move by Subic Water to increase the water rates by 19.5% and the imposition of ETAF or the “Environment and Tourism Administration Fee.”


Cover All Angles Before Taking Action

While it may come as a surprise to many, the Chamber did not immediately confront the issues with an out right rejection. What we did pertaining to the ETAF issue was participated in all the legal and procedural requirements, listen and consider the rationalizations of the SBMA, gather the opinions of the Chamber members and came out with a solid and justifiable stand which is a clear and strong opposition to the ETAF; which we already submitted to the SBMA Chairman.

In 2010, the SBFCC did same thing with the first attempt of the SBMA to charge for environment and tourism fees. The plans to oppose the fees worked well because during that time, efforts of the SBFCC resulted in the withdrawal to collect the said fees.

People can expect the same system of action from the Chamber when dealing with the proposed water rate increase. The Chamber was present during the public hearings and made inquiries and comments even up the smallest details of Subic Water’s proposal. As of date, the Chamber is preparing a formal position paper which contains a comprehensive discussion of the Chamber’s opposition to the increase and will be submitted to the Subic Bay Water Regulatory Board on or before the June 27, 2014 deadline.

There are certain matters where we must take swift and instant action in order to avert an impending danger or in order to give aid and assistance to those who are in dire need. But there are also situations where we must first watch and listen and learn in order to act with precision and get the most favorable results.

As the President of the SBFCC, it is my call whether to take a swift action on a certain issue or take a moment to first calculate our action.


When Swift and Instant Action is required

While the Chamber sometimes takes its time before reacting to regulatory and legal issues, we are always quick in giving immediate assistance to members who are having difficulties with certain government agencies such as the BOC and the BI. Also the Chamber moves swiftly when it comes to responding to calamities, emergencies and humanitarian causes.

Proven by our recent visit to the Province of Leyte to give aid and support, the SBFCC was deemed to have acted faster than other government and non-government agencies working to help the victims of the calamity in the affected areas.


The Distance from the Heart of the Matter

Chamber is always at the forefront of all issues both in and out of the Freeport Zone; we have met head-on, the trials of the previous SBMA Administrations and stood at the very heart of each and every issue. But there are times when it is best to step back to put some distance between you and the problems the lie ahead. That distance between you and the heart of the matter will determine your next move and will eventually determine whether or not you can overcome these obstacles. It is wise to keep some distance in order to get a wider and clearer perspective. This will also allow you to deal with things in a more objective manner because the distance allows you to filter out unnecessary inhibitions and pre-conceived notions.

Not too far from the heart so as not to alienate your self and render your self apathetic but also not too close so as not get too emotional in making decisions.


The Commitment to Serve Remains

Regardless of my methods and manner of dealing with issues, one thing remains clear; my commitment to serve the Chamber remains steadfast. My styles may be different but they serve their purpose in giving service and assistance to those who need them, specially the members who are having difficulties with the regulations inside the Freeport and those having difficulties with other government agencies.

For me, the passion to lead and serve is the true and genuine heart of the matter and in spite of the distance we maintain from some of the issues we are faced with, the Chamber will always give priority to the welfare of its members.

These are my second thoughts… the ideas I gained from taking a second look… and these are the thoughts that truly matter.

 
   
 
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