Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Firm wants to fast track Subic golf course redevelopment

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines — Korean-Filipino company Hanafil Golf and Tour, Inc. wants to fast track the redevelopment of the former Subic Bay Golf and Country Club with its committed investment of $48 million.

Hanafil President and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin John Defensor said the ongoing development of the Subic golf course would not be affected by congressional criticisms in the contract award.

"We will continue to redevelop Subic Golf until we have satisfied our contract with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)," he said.

Hanafil has started building a new nursery that will replace the greens and fairways of the present golf course to support the expansion of additional holes.

"Currently, we have been getting positive feedback from the SBMA and members of Subic Golf," Mr. Defensor said. The company is now building a new restaurant for members and guests. The company has also committed to protect the forests surrounding the golf course.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said the award of the development contract to Hanafil was aboveboard.

"Our agreement with Hanafil assures the government a P14-million income annually, compared with the P3.6-million promised by the former operator," he said. The P14-million rental will be paid on top of a 5% revenue sharing scheme, as well as a $48-million development commitment, he pointed out.

Mr. Arreza said the SBMA had awarded the lease and development contract to Hanafil over seven other bidders because the firm had offered terms that are most advantageous to the government.

Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong has alleged the contract with Hanafil was "disadvantageous to the government." "All these underwent the legal process," Mr. Arreza said. — Reynaldo Garcia, BusinessWorld

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