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 on: November 22, 2013, 06:29:16 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From SubicNewsLink:

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has announced the installation of a tsunami alert system at the Sueste Point in this free port, thus beefing up Subic Bay’s capability in disaster preparedness.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the Tsunami Early Warning System (TeWS) here forms part of a string of early warning systems installed in selected high-risk coastal communities in the country.

The sensors in the system communicate signals to alerting sirens strategically located at five designated areas in the Subic Bay area—one at Bldg. 657 in the Subic Bay Freeport, two at Barangay Wawandue in Subic town, and another two at Barangay Barretto in Olongapo City.

Maj. Vicente Tolentino, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) coordinator of the SBMA, said the Subic authority is now gearing up for a tsunami-preparedness program after systems installation has been completed.

“As of now, we are currently in the stage where we are coordinating with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) regarding the training and education of stakeholders, employees and residents on how to utilize the system and how to respond properly during tsunami emergencies,” said Tolentino, who is also chief of the Special Reaction Division of the SBMA Law Enforcement Department.

He added that the TeWS sensor here would be particularly helpful due to the presence of the Manila trench subduction zone, which is an active convergent plate margin between the South China Sea and the northern Philippines. The oceanic trench located west of the islands of Luzon and Mindoro, is responsible for the belt of volcanoes on the west side of Luzon including Mount Pinatubo.

Tolentino also explained that the TeWS sensor system is designed to detect wave abnormalities in the coastal waters of Subic Bay.

The tsunami detection equipment is composed of a platform with a pole equipped with different sensors. These include an ultrasonic tide sensor, dry sensor, and wet sensor at specific heights of one meter, five meters, and ten meters.

Tolentino added that the SBMA may eventually press for installation of additional sirens for better coverage of warning signals from the sensor, as the lone siren in the Subic Bay Freeport would not be enough.

The installation of the tsunami alert system in the Subic Bay area was contained in a memorandum of agreement signed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), the city of Olongapo, municipality of Subic, and the SBMA in November 2012.

The agreement also required the SBMA, Subic, and Olongapo to prepare and produce community-based evacuation plans.

Aside from Subic Bay, the PHILVOLCS-ASTI of the DOST has also completed installation of TeWS in Lingayen Gulf, Albay Gulf, Manila Bay and Batangas Bay. (RFD/MPD-SBMA)


 on: November 22, 2013, 05:18:28 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From Headline:

Aboitiz-led Subic EnerZone (SEZ) has been awarded by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) the most-sought after Tripartite Certificate of Compliance on Labor Standards (TCCLS).

The award was presented by Director Raymundo G. Agravante to SEZ Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dante Pollescas, and SEZ Assistant Vice President and General Manager Warell Kern Sario held at the DOLE regional office in City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
The ceremony was also graced by Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Yolanda Bugay SEZ Human Resource Manager Mars Escobar and Compliance Officer lawyer Owlette Christine Jill Verallo.

Agravante said the TCCLS serves as equivalent to routine inspection with a validity period of three years, unless there is a violation.
“This certificate aims to promote voluntary compliance with Labor Standards such as General Labor Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Child Labor Law,” Agravante said.

TCCLS is a basic pre-qualification requirement to the DOLE Secretary’s Labor Law Compliance Award and to the highest award, which is the Tripartite Seal of Excellence.

Subic Enerzone is a consortium composed of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Davao Light & Power Co., Aboitiz Power Corp. and San Fernando Electric Light and Power Co.

The utility is contracted to provide power distribution services to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) until 2028. The company pays SBMA P40 million annually for the lease of power facilities and other properties.

SEZ is now aiming the Tripartite Seal of Excellence. -Rey Garcia


 on: November 22, 2013, 04:51:18 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From a report by Henry Empeño of BusinessMirror:

An organization serving the needs of the American elderly has checked out this free port as a possible retirement community, citing both its accessibility and atmosphere.

Officials of the American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW) recently met with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia here to discuss the possibility of developing a retirement facility here.

ABHOW is a nonprofit, nonsectarian corporation that is committed to providing exceptional service to older adults, their families and the wider community.

In the meeting with Garcia, ABHOW President David Ferguson said that they have conducted a survey among American and Filipino-American seniors and found out that many of them are considering retiring in the Philippines.

“We are excited with the opportunity and so we’re here to see what Subic has to offer,” Ferguson said.

Garcia responded by saying that the SBMA has long set its sights in developing the Subic Bay Freeport as a destination for retirees.

“We are happy that you are considering Subic as your location and we will be ready to support and assist your group,” he said.

Garcia said the Subic Bay Freeport is already a preferred retirement destination, where several companies have set up retirement facilities in the past decade.  He added that Subic will be a perfect destination for American retirees because of the rich American culture in Subic, a former US naval base.

The SBMA official also said that the huge number of nurses in the country can provide adequate care for the retirees.

For his part, ABHOW Chairman Randall Stamper noted that Subic’s accessibility is also a major reason their group is considering a project here.

The Subic Freeport, which has its own airport and seaport, is also connected to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, which cuts travel time to Manila to just two hours.

Garcia said Subic has also become a popular location for retirement homes due to its modern health and wellness facilities, healthy natural environment and laid-back atmosphere.

Among the retirement homes that operate here are Holiday Villas, Subic Holiday Mansion, Tropical Paradise Retirement Village, Subic Heights, Subic Bay Leisure and Resorts, Subic Executive Loft Condominium, and Poco a Poco.  These mostly serve South Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese retirees.

With the available facilities here, the SBMA has signed in 2010 an agreement with the Philippine Retirement Authority and the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce for the effective promotion of Subic as a retirement community.


 on: October 22, 2013, 12:08:47 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
Below are the profiles of the candidates for the SBFCC's 2013-2014 Board of Directors election (arranged by submission date of profile).

2014 SBFCC Board of Directors Candidates
 Rose Baldeo    Global Terminals (Golden Eagle Member)  download (110.6kB)
 Lawrence Lusung  Bank of Commerce  download (18.9kB)
 Danny Piano  Absolute Service Inc (Emerald Tier Member)  download (105.4kB)
 Shiny Kim  Golden Dragon Resort and Casino  download (80.3kB)
 Peter Tumanda  Reyes, Diano, Tumanda & Co.  download (53.4kB)
 Lewis Strickland  PACTEC Subic Bay  
 Dante Pollescas  Subic Enerzone (Silver Circle Member)  

Click here for information about the SBFCC Election.


 on: October 18, 2013, 11:32:35 AM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From BusinessWorld:

INVESTMENT in the Philippines is expected to grow over the medium term, with more opportunities opening for the private sector as the economy continues to expand.
  “The Philippines is a rising star in the investment universe,” Deputy Treasurer Sharon P. Almanza said in a keynote speech at an investment forum yesterday.

“The pressure is upon us to deliver... but we need the investor community to continue to fuel our rising star,” added Ms. Almanza, who delivered the speech in behalf of National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon.

With the economy continuously growing above trend, she said this would provide the country “positive momentum for takeoff.”

First semester growth was 7.6%, above the 6-7% target, and many analysts have recently upgraded their forecasts for the Philippines.

Macroeconomic fundamentals -- boosted by the appropriate fiscal and monetary policies -- are also providing ample buffers amid uncertainty in the global environment, Ms. Almanza noted.

“More positive news will continue to bolster our case to investors... and with the country gaining investment grade status from the three major credit raters, this will provide more lift for the economy,” she said.

The view was shared by Luz L. Lorenzo, senior vice-president of Maybank ATR Kim Eng, who said the outlook remained positive.

“With the uncertainty in the markets, the best defense is a strong economy. And with the Philippines continuing to be driven by domestic demand, with its young population driving strong consumption, investments can only contribute more and more to growth,” Ms. Lorenzo said.

Maria Theresa Marcial-Javier, senior vice-president at the Bank of the Philippine Islands, said the country should move to capitalize on its gains.

“With the economy’s growth increasingly becoming more domestically led, opportunities abound for the consumer, retail, and property sectors,” Ms. Marcial-Javier said.

“The environment now provides the government and private sector alike opportunities for expansion and growth ... But sustained growth will need to be coupled with an increase in income to ensure growth trickles down to all sectors,” she added.

Gerald D. Baldivia, managing director at Angeon Advisers, Ltd., added that opportunities for improvement also included the education, health and tourism sectors.

“This will support the production and buildup of physical and human capital that will give the economy a broader support base moving forward,” he said.

“The Philippines used to have a very challenging investment environment, and that’s changing now. We expect all these to translate into more investments in the future.”

Moving forward, officials and regulators pledged additional reforms to support growth.

Hans B. Sicat, president and chief executive of the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc., said good corporate governance was critical to maintain a favorable perception among investors.

“Improved macroeconomic conditions translated into this confidence, and this will go down to individual companies to help them fuel the economy, moving the country into a positive growth cycle,” Mr. Sicat said.

The government, said Ms. Almanza, “will always remain to be one step ahead, maintaining a steady hand on policy levers and building on past achievements ... to foster the type of environment viable for investments.”


 on: October 18, 2013, 11:30:46 AM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From SubicNewsLink:

The world’s only five-star cruise ship is here in the Subic Bay Freeport as part of its tour of the country, strengthening Subic’s position as a preeminent tourism destination.

MS Hanseatic docked at the Alava Pier of the Freeport Monday (Oct. 14). Prior to its arrival here, the cruise ship toured the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. It arrived in the Philippines yesterday (October 13).

According to the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships, it is the only five-star expedition-cruise ship worldwide.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia said this is first time that the luxury cruise ship has docked in Subic.

He said passengers of the ship are scheduled to visit tourist attractions in the Freeport during the ship’s one-day stay.

The ship has a capacity of 184 passengers, aside from its crew of 125.

MS Hanseatic was built in 1991 as the Society Adventurer, but was renamed when she was purchased by Hanseatic Tours, now owned by marine transportation giant Hapag-Lloyd. The ship specializes in trips to the Antarctic.

SBMA deputy administrator for business Reuel Kabigting said the arrival of the Hanseatic is a very welcome development, as it would boost the Freeport’s thrust of becoming a premier tourist destination in Asia.

The SBMA has been preparing the Freeport to be a top cruise-ship destination after it became a founding member of the Asia CruiseTerminal Association, Kabigting added. (FMD. RAV/MPD-SBMA)

Members of a school band presents passengers with leis upon disembarking from the MS Hanseatic cruise ship at the Subic Bay Freeport on Monday.


 on: September 25, 2013, 06:11:56 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber provides the opportunity for a significant degree of active participation in the development of the Freeport.  
The Annual Election of the Board of Directors process starts mid-September. If you are interested in getting value for your investment in the Chamber of Commerce, please consider participation in the Election of Board members.  Choose only those who will do something for the Freeport, for you, and for other investors.
The list of  members in good standing and nominations forms were sent to members last September 9th.  If you have not receive these, please call the Chamber office at 252-3180 or email  There may be last minute amendments made to this list as new Corporate members join prior to closing of elections or if/when Associate members upgrade to Corporate status.
Eligibility and Requirements

Nominees to the Board are required to exemplify and attest to being of sound moral character, demonstrate the highest level of  integrity, and will be expected to conduct themselves with the utmost regard for business ethics at all times. Moreover they are expected to demonstrate initiative, dedication, confidentiality, selfless willingness to serve, and above all, concern for the direction the Freeport and the Chamber will take in the future.
Bear in mind that your elected Board members will be requested to seriously commit to attend Board and General Meetings and mixers every month, to be involved in Committees, and to spearhead membership concerns. All these on a volunteer (without pay, allowance, or honorarium) basis.
Only Corporate members in good standing are eligible for nomination.  Members having past due membership fees will not be permitted to run.  You may nominate yourself, provided you are the authorized representative.

Remember, the Freeport Chamber is YOUR voice  in the community.  Please give careful consideration to nominating the candidate of your choice to serve on the SBFCC Board of Directors.

Election Schedule

September 16 - October 11  - NOMINATION PROCESS BEGINS. Members will receive Nomination Ballots where you can nominate Corporate members of your choice for next year’s Board.

October 14 – October 25 - CANDIDATE SELECTION . Those nominated are asked for their minimum 15 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 22TABULATION. Votes are tabulated by the delegated Returning Officer and scrutinized by the Election Committee.

November 26ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS. Election Results with names of newly elected Board members are announced at the Annual Membership Meeting.

November 26OFFICER SELECTION. Next year’s officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Corporate Secretary) are selected by the Board of Directors.
Status of Current Board

While subject to change, there will be four seats to fill during this election.  
    Directors having one more year to serve:  Atty Romeo Duran, Tom de Bruin, and Jun Avecilla
    Running for re-election: Danny Piano, Rose Baldeo, Lawrence Lusung, and Lewis Strickland

 on: September 24, 2013, 05:01:11 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From Businessworld:

A PRIORITY MEASURE rationalizing the country’s statistical system has been signed into law by President Benigno S. C. Aquino III.

Republic Act (RA) 10625 calls for the creation of the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA), which will assume the functions of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), National Statistics Office (NSO), Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) and the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES).

“The newly-signed law aims to promote the orderly development of a statistical system capable of providing timely, accurate and useful data for the government and the public, and support decentralization through the establishment of the statistical infrastructure necessary to service the statistical needs of local development planning,” Malacañang said in a statement.

The Philippine Statistical Act of 2013, signed Sept. 12, was identified as a priority by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.

The PSA, which will be attached to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), will be responsible for all national censuses and surveys, sectoral statistics, consolidation of selected administrative recording systems and compilation of the national accounts.

It will be constituted from the existing personnel of the NSO, NSCB, BAS and the BLES.

“Personnel of the merged agencies who will not be absorbed into the new staffing pattern due to redundancy or failure to comply with the standards of competence and proficiency, or who will be offered positions under the new staffing pattern but who decline ... shall be given the option to avail” of retirement, the law states.

“The NSO, the BAS of the Department of Agriculture, the BLES of the Department of Labor and Employment and the NSCB shall be abolished and their appropriations, records, properties and personnel shall be transferred to the PSA,” the law states.

“The PSA shall carry out the reorganization of the PSS (Philippine Statistical System) in such a manner that personnel of the agencies absorbed by the PSA shall continue to perform their respective duties and responsibilities in a holdover capacity so as not to unduly delay the production of statistics from ongoing censuses, surveys and processing of administrative records,” it further adds.

Regina N. Reyes, acting NSCB director, said the law’s implementing rules and regulations -- required to be drafted within 90 days -- would provide further directions.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Department of Economic Statistics will continue to take charge of banking and financial statistics, including the balance of payments and fund flows.

The PSA Board will be the highest policy-making body on statistical matters.

It will chaired by the NEDA chief with the Budget secretary or Budget undersecretary as a vice-chairperson. One representative each will come from other government departments, the BSP, the executive director of the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (to be created from the Statistical Research and Training Center), Philippine Statistical Association, government-owned and -controlled corporations, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines and the private sector.

The PSA head will be appointed by the president from a list drawn up by representatives from the Philippine Statistical Association, University of the Philippines School of Statistics, University of the Philippines-Los Baños Institute of Statistics, the BSP’s Department of Economic Statistics and the NEDA. The national statistician, who will be given a renewable five-year term, should have a master’s degree in statistics.


 on: September 22, 2013, 12:55:00 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From a report by Robert Gonzaga on Inquirer Central Luzon:

The United States government should compensate the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority for access to its facilities and not hinder the freeport’s business operations once the US Navy is allowed access to its former naval base, according to a ranking SBMA official.

Although it is possible for the free port and the US Navy to coexist, the US military should abide by the provisions of the Constitution, the Visiting Forces Agreement and Republic Act 7227, or the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, which created the SBMA and the Subic Bay Freeport, said SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia.


“I believe that we could coexist, but they will have to work within the charter of SBMA, which is to promote this as an investment site. The [US Navy] will be like locators. We can make a [memorandum of agreement] with them, and they pay commercial rates for their stay here,” Garcia said.

Earlier, American Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel allayed fears that the US policy of increasing its political, economic and security engagement with the Asia-Pacific would revive permanent US basing arrangements in the Philippines.

Hagel, who visited the country last month, said he and President Aquino discussed expanding the US military’s presence in the Philippines as the country seeks US support to defend its territories in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines and the US are moving closer to concluding a pact that would expand US military presence here.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has said that US troops and vessels would gain access not only to Subic but also to other military facilities in the country.

Garcia said while the SBMA defers to the national government because the issue involves national interest, the SBMA cannot subsidize the US Navy’s presence here.


“SBMA will go bankrupt [if we do],” he said.

He said a greater presence of the US Navy would use up areas that could be leased out to other locators, and the traffic of ships in the Subic port would also take a huge toll on its facilities.

Garcia said the US Navy is not paying the SBMA a single centavo for its use of the Subic port, in accordance with the provisions of the VFA.

Asked how a greater presence of the US Navy will affect locators and the future business prospects of this economic zone, Garcia said: “For the ones who can supply [the US Navy], it’s a boon. For those who are not [going to do business with them], as long as their operations are not interfering with the usual [conduct of business], I suppose it would be fine.”

But Garcia made it clear that the US Navy will not have control of the Subic port or call the shots within the economic zone, except in areas designated to them, just like any other locator.

“The US Navy cannot close [parts of] the free port because of their military’s presence, or restrict access,” he said.


 on: September 14, 2013, 04:49:26 PM 
Started by Forum Admin - Last post by Forum Admin
From SubicNewsLink:

Subic EnerZone Corporation (SEZ), a listed corporation in this free port, donated on Wednesday a two-room pre-school facility to the Gordon Heights Elementary School (GHES) in Olongapo City.

The donation was made in line with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) program of SEZ and in corroboration with the Aklat, Gabay, Aruga tungo sa Pag-Angat at Pag-Asa (AGAPP) Foundation, said SEZ senior vice president and chief operating officer Dante Pollescas.

AGAPP has committed to build classrooms and libraries in public elementary schools located in depressed or disadvantaged communities, tapping private companies and other foundations for support as part of their corporate social responsibility.

The third project in Olongapo, the “Silid Pangarap” — as all AGAPP buildings are called — comes packaged with chairs, reading and instructional learning materials, audio-visual equipment, power and water supplies.

“This is purely an undertaking of private corporations committed to build classrooms and libraries in public elementary schools to prepare the children in kindergarten for school life and develop their positive attitude towards schooling,” Pollescas said.

Among these corporations are the National Book Store, which donated books; Uratex for chairs and tables; and EnerZone and Aboitiz for power and water supply lines and the buildings.

GHES principal Fernando de Guzman lauded Subic EnerZone and AGAPP for the initiative, saying that the newly constructed facility would address the shortage of classrooms in the school.

“We wanted to assure the donors that we will take care of the building, so that it can be used for generations. This will benefit not only the children, but the teachers and parents as well,” de Guzman said.

In year 2010, AGAPP and the Department of Education (DepEd), through the Bureau of Elementary Education (BEE), have formalized the partnership and launched the School Libraries cum Preschool Classroom project.

The partnership involves the construction of one-storey buildings furnished as school libraries that will also be utilized as kindergarten classrooms with accompanying age-appropriate instructional materials. It will also support teacher training and school staff development with focus on early childhood care and development and family literary.

Meanwhile, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia commended EnerZone for its undertakings that spread happiness among school children and teachers in Olongapo City.

“The project, indeed, fits together with the thrust of SBMA to help neighboring communities attain parallel development through projects that help enhance the capacities of residents, ” Garcia said.

Earlier this month, the SBMA through its Public Relations Department, donated school chairs, desks, and whiteboards to the Agusuhin Elementary School Annex in Subic, Zambales. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)


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