Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Smuggling at free ports inflict gov't P78-B yearly loss

Subic-Clark Development discussed in NEDA-Cabinet group meet

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo convened last 28 Sept the first meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Cabinet Group at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport VIP Lounge which mainly discussed the Subic-Clark Development.

Presented to the Cabinet Economic Committee during the meeting was the Subic-Clark Alliance Development (SCAD) Program which was approved by the President for implementation.

The SCAD envisions the Subic-Clark Corridor as a globally competitive logistic hub and a regional growth center.

It has an infrastructure-based development strategy, jumpstarted by the government and being pursued in partnership with the private sector.

The infrastructure development objectives include a world-class Subic seaport and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, hard infrastructure (e.g. power, water, telecom, industrial parks, agri-tourism-residential projects); soft infrastructure (manpower, housing, health education, incentives, and government services); and multi-lingual linkages with Metro Manila and the rest of Central and Northern Luzon.

SCAD’s institutional development objectives include the creation of SCAD corporation, a centralized master plan in consultation with stakeholders and supported by non-government agencies and local government units, and tie-up with foreign partners for expertise and funding.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Florante Soriquez also gave an update on the Pampanga Flood Control, while Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Michael Defensor presented the Pampanga River Basin Management Plan.

The President, likewise, discussed Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), which, she said, is a work in progress.

The final version of the MTPDP, which she said is the road map for development in the Arroyo Administration, will be presented to the public and media on October 11, the end of the first one hundred days of the President after her inauguration as the 14th President of the Republic last June 30, 2004

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Calimlim named to SBMA board

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today appointed Gen. Jose Calimlim (ret.) as member of the board of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), and Filodelfo S. Rojas, Jr. as chairman of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said that in the meantime Francisco Licuanan III, who will assume as SBMA chairman on Nov. 1 vice Felicito Payumo, has been named adviser for Subic-Clark Area Development (SCAD).

Calimlim, who was the commander of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) during the administration of former President Fidel V. Ramos, has also been appointed on a concurrent capacity as president of SBMA Freeport Services, Corp..

Rojas will replace Florencio Padernal as BCDA chairman.
Also today, Malacanang released Executive Order (EO) 365, which defines the functions of the adviser for SCAD.

Bunye said the duties of the adviser for SCAD include the formulation of program/plans for the development of Subic and Clark as a globally competitive international service and logistics center in the Asia- Pacific Region.

Licuanan will also secure the participation of strategic partners, domestic or foreign, from the public or private sector, to contribute capital, know-how, as well as market linkages necessary to spur the growth and development of Central Luzon.

The SCAD adviser will also try to obtain the required participation, support and assistance of all relevant government agencies and entities as well as concerned local government units in the formulation of the development as well as the implementation of the key components of the said program.

EO 365 also enjoined BCDA, CDC and SBMA to jointly provide the required financial, administrative and technical support to the SCAD adviser in the "efficient and effective discharge of his functions."

Likewise, all government agencies and instrumentalities were required to extend the necessary assistance and support to the SCAD adviser

Licuanan named SBMA Chairman; Antonio, Administrator

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced the appointments of Francisco Licuanan III, as new chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), and Alfredo Antonio as SBMA administrator.

Licuanan will replace Felicito Payumo, who assumed the SBMA chairmanship in 1998, and would bow out of office next month.

The appointments of the two new SBMA officials take effect Nov. 1.

A former president of Ayala Land Incorporation, Licuanan is currently presidential adviser on Subic-Clark Development. He will take charge of developing Subic-Clark into the "best strategic transport hubs" in Southeast Asia, the President added.

The President said that like the Ayalas, who gave Licuanan a free hand in running the Ayala Center, she was also giving him wide berth in managing Subic-Clark.

Antonio, who will take charge of the administrative side of the Subic-Clark development, is a former president of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
"The role of Subic-Clark is to serve as the best hub in Southeast Asia, the Philippines’ version of Dubai and Hong Kong," the President said.

The President announced the appointment of Licuanan and Antonio after the capsule-laying ceremony for the expansion of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark Field, Pampanga this morning.

She was assisted by her sister, Cielo Macapagal-Salgado, a former Pampanga vice governor. Also with her were Vice President Noli de Castro, Sen. Lito Lapid, Pampanga Gov. Mark Lapid, and Alfonso Cusi, general manager of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The brief capsule-laying ceremony was held in commemoration of the 94th birth anniversary today of the late President.

The DMIA terminal expansion project is a component of the passenger terminal complex development program for the DMIA. The airport is being developed not only as the country’s next premier international gateway, but also as an Asian regional center for express freight operations, logistics and warehousing, and a major aircraft heavy maintenance base.

The DMIA has approximately 10,000 square meters of building area capable of processing up to three wide-bodied aircraft. The development, which will be implemented in two phases at a cost of P2 billion, is set for completion in 2006.
When completed, the terminal will service up to 3.5 million passengers annually.


Change in SBMA leadership made it to the headline and front page of all leading newspapers in the Philippines such as Manila Bulletin, Manila Times, PDI, People's Journal, Tempo, Kabayan, and Philippine Star

Aside from Licuanan, new appointments to ecozones are: SBMA Administrator Alfredo Antonio, Bases Conversion and Development Authority Chairman Filadelfo Rojas, and Freeport Services Corporation Chairman Jose Calimlim. To be announced next week are members of SBMA Board of Directors.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


President Arroyo formally announced that Licuanan will be the new SBMA Chairman. All major media outfits broadcasted the news bulletin before lunch today. INQ7.NET has this breaking news.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Payumo bid farewell to SBMA

In a surprising announcement this morning, SBMA Chairman Felicito Payumo revealed that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had indicated that Antonio Licuanan will be replacing him as Chief of SBMA. He has officially submitted his resignation to the president effective October 14, 2004. Palace insider told this blogger that GMA herself called Payumo and ordered him to submit his resignation. The President is expected to officially announce Payumo’s replacement tomorrow at Clark, Pampanga.

Licuanan, who is known in the industry for his exacting and demanding management style. He presided over the transformation of Makati skyline during his long years at the helm of ALI.

Licuanan faces great challenges ahead. He has a tremendous responsibility as head of SBMA to transform the Subic complex into a global service and logistic center.

Payumo took the opportunity to thank the employees who supported him during his term.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

P30-M fake cigarettes destroyed at Subic

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Bureau of Customs (BoC), assisted by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s lawenforcement department (SBMA-LED), destroyed yesterday 845 boxes of fake imported cigarettes with a street value of some P30 million. Port of Subic Deputy Customs Collector Reynaldo Avelino said that 246 boxes (14,760 reams) of fake imported 555 Filter King cigarettes and 599 boxes (35,940 reams) of blue-seal Marlboro cigarettes were destroyed with the use of a portable shredding machine.
Residents of the city are however worried that this might be another cover-up of the anomalies happening inside SBMA. It can be recalled that thousands of fake cigarettes were distributed by a candidate close to Payumo during the last local election. They suspect that the actual number of destroyed cigarettes were concealed to the public since SBMA is being investigated in Philippine Senate for rampant smuggling.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Protecting Your Mobile Phones

To ensure quality service to the public, 87 celfone technicians from Olongapo City went through two days of re-tooling and competency assessment.
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Councilor Edwin Piano who heads the city's Telecommunications assured his constituents that the city is complying with NTC Memo Circulars about sale and repair of mobile phones. TESDA and COMTEQ Computer College provided the trainors, test examiners and venue.
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Meanwhile, NTC will conduct one-day mobile registration for Cell Phone Dealers, Service Centers, and users of two way radio (portable, mobile, base). This will be held at Olongapo City Convention Center on Thursday 23 September 2004

Monday, September 20, 2004

Tax illegal RHDs-Gordon

Taxing some 600,000 right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles brought into the country and sold in the market in the past six years would help the country earn cash to prop up its fiscal position.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate government corporations committee, said the Philippines has become a junkyard of foreign-made used RHDs that emit toxic gases.
This, in spite of the fact that there is a six-year-old law, Republic Act No. 8506, that bans the importation, registration and operation of RHDs.
The law imposes a penalty of prision correccional and a fine of P50,000 on violators.
Most of these RHDs, which come from Japan and other countries, enter the country through the Subic Freeport and other economic zones.
Gordon said besides RHDs, drugs and cigarettes are also introduced through Subic. He vowed to bare all in his privilege speech. He described as "dangerous" the driving of converted RHDs since parts underneath are simply welded.
Gordon said his committee is still studying the correct amount to be collected from buyers of converted vehicles under the Arroyo administration’s tax amnesty bill.
Relatedly, Gordon distributed to media copies of the March 11, 2004 report of the Commission on Audit (CoA) on the Subic Bay Freeport Zone stating that the validity of the accounts receivable totaling P2.8 billion as of Dec. 31, 2003 "is doubtful due to the unsatisfactory results of confirmation."
Asked if he knows how many RHD importers are involved, Gordon said there are no legitimate importers since RHDs are prohibited by law. He said that most, if not all, of RHD vehicles, mostly passenger vans and cars, were unloaded at the former Subic Bay, which is under the supervision and control of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) whose chairman is former Bataan Rep. Felicito Payumo.
What should be imported and auctioned are parts or equipment, Gordon said.
Gordon said Sen. Mar Roxas, then Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary, had moved to ban importation of RHDs but failed in his try.
He asserted that his move does not mean a resumption of the Gordon- Payumo fight since it is meant to protect the country.
"I have held my peace when I was tourism secretary. But I was a team player (under the Arroyo administration)," Gordon said, stressing that as senator, he could now expose anomalies at the "graft-ridden" SBMA.
Gordon said he found it questionable for a member of the SBMA board, reported to be a son of a provincial governor, to be an incorporator of one of the firms auctioning these vehicles. (Mario B. Casayuran)

SBMA unveils text messaging service

Advocating better customer care and service to its clients, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has launched “Text SBMA” to provide customers with information on the Freeport’s operating systems, activities and facilities.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Has Subic Bay become center of car smuggling?

HAS SUBIC Bay, a freeport hub, become a smuggling center?
This question cropped up after Customs Commissioner George Jereos told the Senate that right-hand-drive vehicles were entering the freeport with the approval of officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
The law bans the entry of such types of vehicles into the country.
Testifying Monday at a joint hearing by the Senate committees on trade and industry, and economic affairs, both chaired by Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Jereos said the entry of right-hand-drive vehicles through Subic was facilitated by importation permits.
Under questioning by Senator Richard Gordon, Jereos conceded that "no article (including said vehicles) can enter Subic without any import permit issued by the SBMA."
"So SBMA is the culprit then?" asked Gordon, who observed that if SBMA "is ... in this, they (freeport officials) are the ones responsible for the violation."
Jereos replied: "Logical conclusion, Mr. Senator."
Happening at Clark, too?
Pressed further by Gordon, Jereos said the same could hold true at the Clark Special Economic Zone. Gordon pointed out during the hearing that as many as 90,000 cars had allegedly entered the country illegally through SBMA "in the past so many years." In January 2003 alone, 6,000 cars were imported into Subic Bay, he said. Jereos nodded.

Jereos said that right-hand-drive cars being brought into SBMA were "converted by some companies inside the zone and brought out of the zone as (left)-hand-drive (cars)."
Gordon rebuked Jereos for seemingly being ignorant of SBMA rules and regulations that prohibit such conversions because it "causes pollution to the environment."
The rampant importation of vehicles for conversion to left-hand drive had resulted in diminishing sales in the car market in the last two or three years, based on Land Transportation Office (LTO) records, said Gordon.
Killing local industry
Gordon chided the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for "turning a blind eye on a pernicious operation that is also killing the local automotive industry."
He said that the government was losing much-needed revenues due to the failure of customs officials to stop the highly questionable importation of luxury vehicles into the country through Subic and Clark.Gordon reminded Jereos that the customs bureau should enforce at Subic and Clark the law banning the importation of right-hand-drive vehicles.
The senator also pointed out that, during his chairmanship of the SBMA, there were also rules prohibiting the conversion of right-hand-drive vehicles inside the freeport.
"You can just say 'no' to importation of right-hand-drive vehicles and be done with judicial declaration," Gordon told Jereos. "Why has that not happened? Are there powerful interests behind these car importers?"
For monitoring purposes
The senator said that the smuggling of luxury vehicles would cause severe harm to the country from the "standpoint of revenue, productivity, which decreases our creation of jobs, and from the standpoint of safety and the environment."
"Would you let your son or your daughter drive a right-hand vehicle converted to a left-hand vehicle without any assessment made by the LTO or by other responsible authorities?" Gordon asked Jereos. "I will not," the customs chief answered.
The SBMA, in a statement yesterday, said the freeport "issues importation permits to locators [investors] here for regulated items, including used vehicles, for monitoring purposes."
"Being a freeport zone, goods can be unloaded in Subic without being considered an importation," it said in a statement issued by its public relations office.
"However, before the goods are released into the Customs territory, the importer must secure other necessary permits from the government and pay the required duties and taxes imposed by the (BOC)," it said.

The SBMA said that, while a permit from the Bureau of Import Services (BIS) was required for second-hand vehicles, "the BOC accepts the payment of duties and taxes and penalties in the absence of a permit from the BIS." "It is only after the taxes and penalties are paid that vehicles are registered when (these) are issued gate passes by the SBMA for their release," the statement said.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Sore Eyes

In the last three weeks, almost every other guy in the office has contracted sore eyes. Please give us information on the current epidemic of sore eyes in the Philippines: what causes it, its treatment and how it can be prevented. — Johnson R., Manila.

I myself got it! Webmaster

New museum chronicles history of Subic

The Subic Bay Met-ropolitan Authority (SBMA) recently opened the Subic Bay Historical Center, in an effort to chronicle the rich culture and history of Subic, Olongapo in Zambales.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Mayor refuses to yield post

CASTILLEJOS, Zambales (PNA) — Mayor Wilma Billman has refused to honor an order directing the assumption of Vice Mayor Enrique Clarin as acting mayor of this town.
Gov. Vicente Magsaysay said he had installed Clarin as acting mayor of Castillejos pursuant to a resolution of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) First Division that annulled the May 13, 2004 proclamation of Billman as the winning candidate for mayor of this town. He said that the installation was long overdue because the order took effect last July 14.
The resolution arose from a petition filed by another mayoral candidate, Jose Angelo Dominguez, against the municipal board of canvasser and Billman. Dominguez questioned the validity of election returns from three precincts and filed a petition on grounds of "certain alterations or tampering on the face of the election returns without the necessary signatures of the members of the board of election inspectors.’’
Mayor Billman said she had petitioned the courts for temporary restraining order, thus will only yield to Magsaysay's move once the court has decided with finality on the case. She further said that the Governor's move was intended to favor his niece, Karla Magsaysay who was elevated to vice mayor position as an effect of his move promoting the present Vice Mayor to a Chief Executive position.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

P240-M Subic island resort opens

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Efforts to integrate this industrial zone into a premier tourist destination were given a boost with the opening of Grande Island Resort, a R240 million development project that has transformed the former US Naval defense port facility into a world class tropical island resort.

Fil-Ams urged to give to Bayanihan Fund

AMBASSADOR Lauro Baja Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Saturday exhorted the Filipino-American community in the United States to "join hands" with their compatriots in Manila and contribute to the Bayanihan Fund to avert the looming fiscal crisis in their native country.

Baja said the fiscal problem "presents a singular opportunity and challenge" to the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) to help the Philippines. "Senators and congressmen have agreed to renounce their pork, or part of it; the executive department has embarked on austerity measures; businessmen have come forward promising to pitch in, and religious organizations have taken notice of the crisis," Baja told the audience at the 6th Empowerment Congress of the NaFFAA in Chicago, Illinois.

"There is something truly wonderful happening back home. I see a resurgence of nationalism, of patriotism, of love of country. The sum total of these collective efforts will not by themselves solve the crisis but anything which comes from the heart and soul symbolizes cooperation, unity and empowerment-the vision of NaFFAA," he said.
House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. had urged individuals and groups to contribute to the Bayanihan Fund to help ease the country's financial problems. He hit up businessmen traveling with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her recent state visit to China for P350 million in contributions.
The Department of Tourism and Metrobank have put up donation boxes in their offices and branches to collect contributions from their employees and clients. "I therefore call on NaFFAA to support the efforts of our kababayans (compatriots) back home and contribute to the Bayanihan Fund," Baja said in his speech, excerpts of which were e-mailed to reporters covering the foreign affairs beat.

It was not immediately known how the delegates to the conference reacted to his appeal.
In his speech, the ambassador also paid tribute to NaFFAA, which he said "has [come] long way" in contributing to the social, political, economic and cultural life of the United States.
"The Filipino-American as you have made [him] to be could be a veritable force for progress and development," he said.

Baja cited, for instance, the organization's efforts to press for the passage of the Veterans Equity Bill, its program for distressed Filipino nationals in various parts of the US, and its drive toward a cultural community with emphasis on identity, education and stewardship in the Filipino-American performing arts.

"It is my vision that your involvement in advocacy and legislative policy initiatives will continue to grow from strength to strength," he said.
"I look forward to the near future when more and more Filipino-Americans will be elected to political leadership positions and that from your ranks emanate a distinctly Filipino-American perspective on current and emerging issues of concern in foreign policy and national priorities," he added

Updated 05:21am (Mla time) Sept 13, 2004 By TJ BurgonioInquirer News Service Editor's Note: Published on page A2 of the Sept. 13, 2004 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Monday, September 13, 2004


Click to view Mayor James "Bong" Gordon's latest report on Olongapo City

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Zambales board blocks Magsaysay revamp plan

IBA, Zambales—The Sangguniang Panlala­wigan (SP) has withdrawn its support for the reorganization proposed by Gov. Vicente Magsay­say, because he has not submitted a management study to justify a revamp of the provincial government.

In a resolution co-authored by Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain 2nd and SP member Renato Collado, the provincial board unanimously questioned what offices Magsaysay wanted abolished or created, the cost of terminating capitol employees and the source of the fund for the payment of the compensation package.

Magsaysay reportedly wants to abolish more than 200 positions at the capitol in a bid to cut some P29.66 million in the annual budget.

A source said the capitol has a workforce of 857 and Magsaysay wants this reduced to 653 so that the provincial budget can be trimmed from P114.96 million to P90.47 million.

Lacbain said the provincial board had earlier adopted Resolution 2003-11 in January 2003 authorizing the governor to immediately reorganize the capitol in accordance with civil service laws, rules and regulations and the Local Government Code of 1991.

According to Lacbain, the resolution repealing Resolution 2003-11 was adopted last week because the provincial board did not receive a detailed management study regarding the proposed reorganization.

“We fully support the reorganization but it should be based on civil service laws, rules and regulations and the local government code and additionally a detailed management study to fully explain the justification for the reorganization,” Lacbain told The Manila Times.

“What we’re after is the assurance that whoever will be affected will be paid in full and not partial in order for these displaced government employees to start an alternative livelihood,” he added.

There are 18 provincial offices and departments in the province to be affected with the proposed reorganization including new offices to be created and personnel of some offices and departments to be reduced by almost 50 percent.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

8 gov’t cars illegally used

Malacañang has sent the first batch of “love letters” to erring officials who have illegally used government vehicles.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said yesterday the Land Transportation Office (LTO), in its initial report, found eight red plate vehicles being used for personal errands by local government officials, goccs as well as certain state workers.

Ermita said he has sent a memorandum to the heads of the concerned government agencies, including the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), on behalf of the local governments, seeking an explanation on the abuse of government vehicles.

Ermita said he expects the concerned government agencies to impose sanctions against the violators, particularly in confiscating the government-issued vehicles from them.

He, however, did not identify the government officials found exploiting such motor vehicles for fetching their children from schools and for shopping in malls and markets. SBMA officials are reported to be rampant violators of this rule.

Ermita earlier asked LTO chief Ann Lontoc to monitor and report to his office the unauthorized use of government vehicles.

Lontoc has deployed field personnel initially around schools where government vehicles are reportedly used for delivering and fetching students.

Officials to whom vehicles are issued would be identified through LTO records and their names would be forwarded to the Office of the Executive Secretary.

The President has ordered a strict implementation of the trip ticket rule in the use of government vehicles as part of the cost-cutting plan in the bureaucracy.

A rigid monitoring system of government motor pools, particularly in the allocation and issuance of gasoline coupons, would be implemented to ensure compliance to the prohibitions

SBMA kicks off system to curb vehicle smuggling

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has developed a computerized tracking and inventory system especially designed to check the movement imported vehicles in the freeport and ensure the payment of Customs duties and taxes due on them.

The system will also track tax-exempt (blue plate) vehicle owned by freeport investors and residents including government vehicles and visitors of the freeport.

By Malou Dungog , Central Luzon Bureau

Friday, September 10, 2004

Zambales Representative quits

Zambales Rep. Diaz quits, tenders resignation letter to JdV

FOR the first time in history, a lawmaker wanted to be out of Congress, saying it is no longer an honor to be part of it.

A report over dzBB said Zambales Rep. Antonio Diaz already tendered his resignation letter to House Speaker Jose de Venecia last Wednesday, saying "it is no longer an honor" to be part of the Lower House of Congress which used to be called the august chamber.

In response, the report quoted de Venecia as saying that he would refer Diaz' resignation to the House committee on rules since this is the first time that a lawmaker relinquished his position.
De Venecia added he does not know who will replace Diaz as the representative of the second district of Zambales.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Search for World Class Pinoys Launched

A search for Pinoys with world class attributes was launched here in Olongapo City.
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A search for Pinoys with world class attributes was launched in Olongapo City.

Categories are as wide as sports, academe, theater, volunteer work, public service, entrepreneur, invention, discovery, arts, academics, value formation, professional (medicine, engineering, politics, law, manufacturing, construction, seafaring, entertainment, transportation, information technology, telecommunication, oil exploration/drilling, military, police, nursing, care giving, etc), anyone who has done heroic/highly commendable act, or anything under the sun; as long as it can be proven that the nominee possesses the Winning Global Pinoy attitude.
Anyone with Filipino blood, regardless of present nationality and present residence can be nominated.
Winners will be selected by accumulation of votes from pre-selected board of judges and votes which will come from texts, phone calls, emails and voting by internet.
Individuals, groups or associations can submit their nomination by email to: Gordon_College@subictel.com

10 outstanding workers at Subic Freeport named

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Establishments here recognized the 10 Outstanding Freeport Workers for 2004 during the awards night held at the Subic Bay Arts Center here.
The 10 Outstanding Freeport Workers for 2004 are Lina Balan of the Legend International Resort Ltd; Ludivina L. Carballo of Aura College; Israel R. Daria of Koryo Subic; Jeanette C. Fabian of Aura College; Frederick T. Ferrarez of RCM Manufacturing; Maria Belma B. Ginez of Subic International Hotel; Manuel D. Gutierrez of Wistron; Nolito F. Isaac of Subic Water; Eddie D. Sioson of RCM Manufacturing; and Thelma M. Villanueva of Subic Water.
The lawyer Severo Pastor Jr., head of the Freeport’s labor department and president of the Subic Bay Workforce Development Foundation Inc., which organized the event, said the 10 winners were selected from among 29 nominees. Six judges selected the winners after they passed through tight process of selection.
“Last year, the Subic Bay Freeport nominated employees for the Tower Award of the Rotary Club of Manila but nobody qualified because the awarding body gave emphasis on the rank and file and most of those who bagged the 2003 Most Outstanding Employees were under supervisory level. So, this time we asked the locators to recommend those who were from the rank and file,” he said.
“The results of selection were very close. All the nominees were highly recommended because they all go to the office on time and their performances and evaluation sheets were very satisfactory so the judges looked for that determining x-factor that makes the individual excel from the others,” he said.

Pastor said one x-factor considered the example of one of the awardees, a mother of six who works at the Subic International Hotel (SIH).

Monday, September 06, 2004

What's in a SBMA board seat?

There must be something unusually attractive or beneficial to sit on the board of directors of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Otherwise, the 700 applicants for seats in the 9-man board would not be fighting tooth and nail.
It is difficult and expensive to move a family to Subic although I would suspect that housing is free. But is that all?Clearly not. Subic has become the largest smuggling point of many products such as new and used vehicles, cigarettes, hard drinks, rice, you name it.The residents of the special economic zone are entitled to tax- free importation.
That privilege should extend to members of the board.Now you know why there are 700 applicants for board seats.But the smugglers are mostly Chinese-Filipinos from Manila who have no operation in Subic. Or if they have any at all, they are used as facilities to make smuggling easier.How do authorities in the zone justify the importation of containers upon containers of brandy and cigarettes?
For transshipment, according to the documents.The reality is the smuggled items are diverted to the markets of Metro Manila and other urban centers.The "king" of used vehicles is said to be a powerful young man with direct access to Malacañang.


Sunday, September 05, 2004

Tension grips SBMA over BIR closure order

SUBIC Bay Freeport -- Tension builds up in the vicinity of the Asia International Auctioneer Inc. (AIAI) following speculation that the Bureau of Internal Revenue District Office here would padlock the company last Friday morning. Revenue District Office 19 officer Edgar B. Tolentino, however, denied the report, saying that "all actions emanate from the Office of the Commissioner and we will only implement it upon order of the national office." Tolentino said the BIR will also coordinate any action, warrant or closure order with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) pursuant to Republic Act 7227.
Earlier, the BIR led by its officials in Revenue Region No. 4, Pampanga and Revenue District Office No. 19, SBFZ served warrants of garnishment signed by Commissioner of Internal Revenue Guillermo L. Parayno Jr. AIAI with Subic Bay Motors Corporation (SBMC) protested the alleged arbitrary and abusive exercise of powers by the BIR for issuing warrant of garnishment last week in all of its depository banks for non-payment of excise tax and value-added taxes. Meanwhile, the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) warned the government that several investors have already echoed their plans to close shop which could lead to a massive layoff of thousands of workers should the BIR insist on its plot to collect more taxes. The pullout of foreign investments and the loss of thousands of jobs in Subic will contravene two items in PGMA's 10-point agenda: the generation of more jobs and the development of the Subic-Clark corridor. The SBFCC added that "changing the rule in the midstream" is definitely not acceptable to investors and that not only the government, but the entire country will be on the losing end once the retrenchment and the imminent exodus of foreign investors happen."
The protest stemmed after the BIR announced the impending issuance of revenue regulations which would amend Revenue Regulations (RR) 1-95 governing the implementation of tax incentives given to Subic locators. Under the BIR's proposed amendments, trading enterprises will only be allowed to deduct the cost of sales in the computation of gross income subject to the 5% special tax rate. In regard to other categories of businesses operating here, particularly manufacturers, service enterprises and financial enterprise, the BIR's draft, while not altering the enumerated deductible costs, makes the enumeration exclusive, thereby excluding other items which may be considered as direct costs since they are directly and exclusively incurred in the conduct of the registered activity. The BIR proposes to disallow all "administrative, selling and operating expenses" even if particular types of expenses can be shown to have been incurred directly and exclusively in the registered activity.


Central Luzon flooding leaves 41 dead
House urged to probe Subic road project
Olongapo-Zambales has new Bishop

Solons ask GMA to extend Payumo's term at SBMA

Subic Customs Under Fire
BIR issues warrants to 2 Subic firms over taxes
100 'Taba' Metro cops off to Subic
Subic road redesign favors Lopez group
Former City Mayor, Honorable Geronimo B. Lipumano peacefully joined his Creator

56 Solons for Payumo Retention
Subic Tax Collections up 7%
Former Philippine First Lady Passed Away

Row between school officials and Congresswoman Magsaysay erupted
Inky Reyes to visit SBMA tomorrow
City Dad to be nominated to SBMA Board
Olongapo Officials Hurt by Mitos’ tirade in Congress
Olongapo Pursues Modernization of its Power Distribution System
SBMA chief’s functions split
GMA to put up soundstage in SUBIC

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Mama Amelia Celebrates 85th Birthday

Former Mayor Amelia Gordon and recipient of Pearl S Buck Woman of the Year
Celebrates her 85th birthday today.
The webmaster dedicates this site to her http://subicbay.ph/

A page about the celebrant

Grand party for a grand lady (84th b-day)

Founder of Olongapo Red Cross Blood Bank

Friday, September 03, 2004


A public forum was held this afternoon at FMA Hall, Olongapo City Hall to discuss new issuances from National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

On invitation from Councilor Edwin J. Piano, Chairman of Committee on Telecommunications and Information Technology, ranking government officials from NTC, DTI, TESDA, SBMA and LGUs joined the forum to brief local telecom related businessmen on current telecom situation in the country and ensure efficient implementation of new rules governing telecom industry.

Below are links to issues discussed:

The NTC web site is constantly updated with new information and data

Thursday, September 02, 2004

GOVIC opposes position of provincial board

Governor Vic Magsaysay of Zambales disclaims the provincial boards endorsement of former Governor Amor Deloso to Chairmanship of SBMA. In the Sanggunian Panlalawigan resolution, Zambales legislators are requesting President Arroyo to appoint a person from Zambales since the first Chairman (Gordon) is from Olongapo and the second Chairman (Payumo) is from Bataan.

Magsaysay insist that Payumo must retain SBMA post since major projects such as the port development at Cubi will definitely be affected if Payumo is replaced.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Olongapo Asserts its Shares at SBMA

The City Council today passed a resolution requesting the honorable Senator Richard J. Gordon to intercede for the city of Olongapo the release of the rightful shares of Olongapo city from CYs 1994-1998 tax collected pursuant to Republic Act no. 7227 Otherwise known as the “Bases Conversion and Development act of 1992”

With the creation of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7227, the affected and contiguous area of the Subic Bay Freeport (SBF) and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) have a right to claim the 2% of the 5% tax on gross income earned (GIE) from businesses and enterprises within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ). The City of Olongapo is both an affected and a contiguous area of the SBF and SEZ and the City of Olongapo has yet to collect its rightful share of two percent (2%) from 1994-1998

Undersecretary Nieves L. Osorio of the Department of Finance, in response to city Resolution No. 44 entitled “A Resolution Requesting Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo To Intercede With Both Houses Of Congress, Department Of Finance (DOF) And The Department Of Budget And Management (DBM) For the Release Of The Rightful Share Of Olongapo City From CYs 1994-1998 Pursuant To Republic Act No. 7227 Otherwise Entitled “Bases Conversion And Development Act of 1992” forwarded on March 2004, advised that the City of Olongapo should make representations with the DBM in preparation for the 2005 budget, since the said income is a prior year collection and already forms part of the General Fund. Thus, allocation for the General Fund for the Share of the City of Olongapo from the 5% gross income earned for SBF and SEZ will require appropriation from the General Appropriations Act.
The man who envisioned the great potentials of SBMA creation, now Senator Richard J. Gordon, has always protected the interests of the people of Olongapo, all for the common good, in his capacity as former SBMA Chairman and Committee Member of Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) in the Senate knows very well the rationale for the City’s claim of the 2% rightful shares of the City from the 5% gross income taxes on businesses and/or enterprises within the SBF and SEZ


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