Locators group lauds SBMA chairman
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT— Members of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, Inc. lauded Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Roberto Garcia for “resurrecting” the country’s premier free port and turning it from being a negative performer to an achiever this year.
Newly-elected SBFCCI president and chairman of the board Rose Baldeo said that as “captain of the ship,” SBMA chairman Garcia has successfully led SBMA back to business with his leadership, commitment and perseverance.
The message was conveyed during the general meeting of the SBFCCI held at the Global Silk Pavilion here, where Garcia was invited as guest of honor and to give updates on the agency’s programs and prospects.
“The general membership of the Chamber is fully satisfied with the performance of the management of SBMA and the way it helps and supports the locators and investors in Subic,” Baldeo noted.
She added that through cooperation and understanding, both the Chamber and the SBMA could maneuver the Freeport towards greater progress to create more employment and generate more income that would help boost the economy of the country.
For his part, Garcia reaffirmed that SBMA maintains the tradition of support and cooperation with its locators and investors for mutual development.
“Because of your support, SBMA has already on its table a committed investment amounting to P24 billion compared to P2.3 billion for the year 2012, or an increase of 931.4 percent, with three months more to go this year,” Garcia said.
He also noted that a good number of Japanese investors have signified their intentions of transferring their businesses from China to Subic due to territorial disputes between China and Japan.
He added that while SBMA is gearing towards positive markings on almost all of its statistics, smuggling, especially oil, has been successfully curbed.
“Smuggling, particularly oil, in the Freeport is already a thing of the past and we hope to maintain this positive image. Thanks to the Bureau of Customs, which is requiring oil importers to pay duties prior to shipment,” he said.
In the same forum, SBFCCI members applauded Garcia after announcing that his office is pushing the issuance of a single certificate of registration and tax exemption (CRTE) instead of requiring two certificates—one for registration and another for tax exemption.
“We will make the registration process here as simple as possible, as easy as it should be,” Garcia said.
The SBMA chairman noted that unifying the certificates is part of the good governance practices being promoted by SBMA in compliance with the government’s program to eliminate graft and corruption.
“We want to make Subic a place where we can do business in peace and harmony. So, expect a lot of development in the nearest future,” Garcia also told the Subic traders. (30)