P16.2-B new investments to create nearly 73,000 new jobs at SBMA

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has approved new investment proposals worth a total of PHP16.2 billion, reasserting this freeport’s claim as one of the biggest business destinations in the country.

SBMA chair and administrator Wilma T. Eisma said on Monday the new investments are expected to create a total of 72,722 new jobs in the freeport zone.

The new business proposals, she noted, were made by 40 companies that sought registration as Subic business locators from July to September, as well as by three existing locators that pledged additional investments for expansion projects totaling PHP49.44 million.

The new investments consisted of 15 projects under the leisure industry, 13 in general business, 11 in logistics and one in information and communications technology, while the expansions were all under the manufacturing sector.

According to the SBMA Business and Investment Group (SBMA-BIG), the new projects approved in the third quarter of this year represented a 233-percent increase over the 12 new proposals in the same period last year. In terms of new jobs, the variance showed thousands-fold increase over the 163 posted in 2020.

SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator for Business Renato Lee III said the biggest investment proposals came from Subic Supreme Industries, Inc., which committed PHP15.5 billion for a leisure project; Empress Maritime Subic, Inc., with PHP201.2-million for another leisure project; Bicol Oil (International) & Shipping Corporation, with PHP179.3 million in logistics; SBGP Food Services, Inc. with PHP74.62 million in leisure; and Da Fu Yuan Corp. with PHP57.28 million in general business.

Meanwhile, the biggest commitment for expansion came from Philippine Easepal Technology Ltd. Corporation at PHP37.45 million. Philippine Easepal, which manufactures sports and leisure articles and apparel, also committed to hiring 810 more workers for its expansion.

Lee also said in SBMA-BIG’s Thirds Quarter 2021 report that at least 18 new projects, including co-location agreements with the country’s three leading telecommunications players, are under consideration by the Subic agency.

He said SBMA is also reviewing and amending business processes, including the omnibus policy on the imposition of performance bond, to further reduce the period for processing and issuance of business permits and ensure efficient monitoring of development commitments by business locators here.

Eisma said the continuing health crisis may have initially caused the closure of some companies in Subic, “but we’re definitely making a comeback as a preferred investment destination.”

“Aside from sound economic policies that gave investors much-needed support and respite during the pandemic, Subic’s superb safety record, which is due to the cooperation of stakeholders in observing health measures, also played an important part in gaining the trust of new investors,” she said in a statement.

Eisma pointed out the SBMA has been a favored destination for “bubble events” like business conferences, sports tournaments, and stay-cations at the height of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, as well as a hub for international crew change and the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers. (PNA)