SBMA EYES 8 NEW PRIORITY MULTI-BILLION INVESTMENT ZONES
By FRANCO G. REGALA - mb.com.ph
March 8, 2011
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Consistent with the task of developing this free port into a service and logistics center, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is seeking to expedite the development of at least eight identified priority investment zones here this year. SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said the agency has identified eight separate initiatives to develop more areas for business locators in the Subic Bay Freeport.These include the redevelopment of Subic’s Central Tourist District, rezoning of the Subic Gateway Park for commercial and mixed-use development, conversion of the 16-hectare marshalling yard into the Gateway Business District, establishment of anchor educational institutions at the Paradise lot, development of a maritime industrial complex around the Hanjin shipyard, development of integrated resorts in Cawag and Minanga, redevelopment of the Subic Bay golf course, and the push for outward expansion.
Arreza said the development of new investment sites is crucial to sustaining Subic’s development momentum in face of Subic’s limitation in available open space. Developed mainly as a base for the US Navy, the Subic free port zone has a land area of only 55,102 hectares, most of which are triple-canopy forests designated as part of the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS). “We are very proud of the fact that we have attracted cumulative investments worth more than $7.16 billion and almost 1,500 investment projects as of 2010. Unfortunately, these investments won’t bring any economic benefit to us if they do not materialize for lack of space,” Arreza pointed out. Of the eight identified new investment zones, Arreza said that two are already under re-development. These are the Central Tourist District, which is anchored on a P3-billion Ayala mall project scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the Subic Gateway Park, an industrial area that is being converted into a mixed-use district.
Among the investment initiatives at the Central Tourist District are the redevelopment of the Subic Bay Yacht Club by a private group that recently purchased the property from Land Bank; the development of a cruise ship terminal by Global Terminals; the construction of the Harbor Point Mall; redevelopment of the Times Square commercial complex; and the establishment of a regional bus terminal. On the other hand, Arreza said the Subic Gateway Park is “emerging to be primarily our business process outsourcing (BPO) center within the next few years.”
Aside from this, the area has recently attracted some hotels, eateries and a Ford showroom, with Mitsubishi also planning to put up a display room nearby this year. A five-hectare lot in the area has also been reserved for an anchor university to attract educational institutions in the area.
SBMA, PLDT READIES SUBIC AT ICT HUB
By Subic Times
April 7, 2010
Officials of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Corp. (PLDT) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) have formally sealed a partnership to put this free port at the frontline of the country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
Subic Bay’s take on knowledge-based industries was recently boosted by a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the SBMA, PLDT, and its subsidiary PLDT Subic Telecom (Subictel) at the PLDT main office in Makati City.
The MOU, which would pave the way for tripartite collaborative projects, was signed by SBMA administrator Armand Arreza and PLDT Subictel chairman & PLDT senior vice-president Ernesto Alberto, PLDT first vice-president Nerissa Ramos, and PLDT Subictel president Dennis Magbatoc.
Arreza said the MOU calls for the promotion of Subic Bay Freeport’s IT capabilities through the SBMA-PLDT-Subictel caravan project, which will boast of PLDT’s recent ICT investments here worth more than P40-million.
Under the said project, the P20-million Innovation Laboratory (Innolab) unveiled by Subictel in October 2009, will be an essential part of this free port’s investor tour program. It will serve as a one-stop showcase of Subic Bay’s ICT capability in terms of infrastructure, and also highlight the available and “futuristic” IT solutions of PLDT for various industries.
On SBMA’s part, Arreza announced that the agency would establish an ICT park on a 17-hectare property here to put to use PLDT’s “ready-to-use” telecoms solutions and ICT infrastructure. These would include the Next Generation Network (NGN) fiber optics cable connecting this free port to Manila and the entire Luzon grid.
“Capacity comes first before opportunity,” Arreza said during the MOU-signing ceremony. “They (PLDT), too, saw our vision for the Subic-Clark economic corridor, and they acted in accordance with that vision.”
Arreza also revealed that international names in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry have been prospecting for business opportunities in Subic.
“It’s only a matter of time before the Subic Bay Freeport becomes synonymous with BPO and IT-related services, like back-office outsourcing, software and games development, engineering design, and digital animation, among others,” said Arreza.
PLDT’s Alberto, meanwhile, reaffirmed his company’s belief in the potentials of Subic Bay as an ICT hub, adding that since its establishment here, PLDT has invested “quite tremendously in the Subic-Clark corridor especially in the past few years.”
He said Subic and Clark have been “fibered” with the NGN technology, which increased network coverage and enabled new and innovative services to emerge in the market.
Through the Subictel Innolab, the fifth of its kind in the country, the public is also able to access “revolutionary business solutions and the latest ICT trends,” Alberto added.
“The Subic-Clark corridor will be the more prominent, if not the most prominent economic corridor this country will ever see in the next five to ten years,” Alberto also said. This explains the group’s investment in the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and their “aggressive” bidding for the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), he added.
He said the PLDT group also sees the entry of Texas Instruments and Samsung in the Subic-Clark corridor as encouraging developments in the ICT sector.
Alberto added that PLDT officials “would like to partner with Mr. Arreza and the SBMA team for globally-competitive industries in the areas of cutting-edge healthcare, retail and trade, tourism, logistics and in the maritime industry.”
“Subic, in my view, is the place to be in the Philippines,” Alberto declared. “And by building my second home in Subic two years ago, I have put my money where my mouth is,” he quipped.