SBMA - Electronic Billing and Payment System

SBMA recalls past struggles in building PHL’s first free port
Dec 18, 2017

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Hundreds of former volunteers and current employees and officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) on Friday recalled the hardship they overcame in building the first Philippine free port and renewed their commitment for a sustainable and more progressive Subic.

In a ceremony graciously attended by former heads of the agency, participants and guests in the culminating activity of the month-long SBMA 25th Anniversary Celebration remembered momentous events since Subic Bay Freeport was established in 1992.

Foremost among the images evoked here was the historic time when the Stars and Stripes was lowered for the last time in this former American military base, and an enormous 20-by-40 foot Philippine banner was raised.

On Friday, as SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma led in unveiling a marker for the country’s biggest national flag here, she reminded everyone of the parallelism between the struggles for national independence and the sacrifices made by SBMA volunteers to forge a brighter and better future for the community and the nation.

“It is on this very site where battles have been fought between foreign countries, seeking dominion over these precious waters and land; where the Filipino nation finally gained full sovereignty over this place; and where 8,000 volunteers answered the clarion call of SBMA founding chairman Richard Gordon and stood united and undaunted by the huge task of securing the facilities around after the Americans left in 1992,” Eisma said.

“Which is why it is but necessary for us to consecrate this ground as a witness to the sacrifice and courage of Filipinos, and for the flag as a symbol of their bravery and pride,” she added.

“Flying the Philippine flag here 24/7 permanently should be a matter of pride and honor, not just for us at SBMA or the Freeport, but for every Filipino. For it is indicative of the kind of nationalism that is expected from each and every one of us,” Eisma also said.

The anniversary celebration also served as a reunion for former top officials of the Subic agency.

Among those who arrived to remember Subic’s historic past were SBMA’s founding chairman and administrator and now Senator Richard J. Gordon; former Chairman and Administrator Felicito C. Payumo, who succeeded Gordon; former Administrator Armand C. Arreza; and former Chairman and Administrator Roberto V. Garcia.

The former officials assisted Chairman and Administrator Eisma and other agency officials in giving recognition to pioneer investor-companies, former Subic volunteers, and current SBMA employees.

Gordon, in his message at the unveiling of SBMA memorabilia here, indicated the continuing concern of former SBMA officials for the Subic Freeport and revealed some level of cooperation among them. He said that he and Payumo share their endorsement of the proposed underground road network that would interconnect Subic with Manila.

A tribute to Subic volunteers that was held at the Volunteers Shrine became the culminating event of the month-long celebration that began on November 6.

The other culminating events included a pass-by air show by the Philippine Air force, water salute by Salvtug tugboats, a silent drill by Philippine Merchant Marine Academy cadets, and an exhibition by the SBMA Marching Band.

Starting Friday, the SBMA and various tourism establishments in the Freeport also held a night bazaar and food festival at the Remy Field here, which included two nights of musical entertainment.

The Subic Pride Parade scheduled on Sunday, Nov. 26, was also included in the program to cap the celebration.

SALUTE TO SBMA: Tugboats execute a water salute while Philippine Air force planes do a pass-by overhead during the SBMA 25th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, Nov. 24, at the Subic Bay Freeport.

SALUTE TO SBMA: Tugboats execute a water salute while Philippine Air force planes do a pass-by overhead during the SBMA 25th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, Nov. 24, at the Subic Bay Freeport.

News 2017

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. All Rights Reserved. Bldg. 229 Waterfront Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Philippines.

Voice: +6347 252 4000 Fax: +6347 252 4185 | Terms of Use | Sitemap

ISO Certification

ISO Certified - DQS

Transparency Seal

Transparency Seal

Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information