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SBMA goes after debtor-firms, collects P148M
Apr 20, 2018

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s resolve to go after stale debts and past-due accounts of business locators in the Subic Bay Freeport is handsomely paying off in millions of fresh funds for the State-owned agency.

Figures from the SBMA Finance Group indicated that the agency collected a total of P148.6 million from rentals, sublease shares, common use service area (CUSA) fees and other accounts receivable in the last 15 months that an aggressive collection program was instituted by the new administration.

The collection included long-time debt payments by Freeport-registered companies in the amount of P101.9 million and $593,118, and housing payments of P6.5 million and $172,922.

SBMA accounting officials said some of these debts have been incurred as early as year 2000, but have remained unsettled in the past 17 years.

“This is proof that just by consistently applying existing laws and policies and actively engaging our stakeholders in Subic—listening to them and figuring out mutually-acceptable solutions, we can accomplish much,” said SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma.

“Besides, looking after the interest of the government as regards the operation of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is a duty we cannot shirk; we have to go after those who have debts, and we have to do this decisively,” she added.

Eisma said the campaign has only met support from business executives here who understood the purpose and approved the reform measures.

SBMA records showed that a lot of indebted companies have availed of payment schemes approved by the SBMA Board of Directors, allowing them to amortize past-due accounts over a certain period of time.

Some of the biggest locators that recently made upfront payments or availed of payment schemes included the Lyceum of Subic Bay, which paid P31.5 million for both arrears and advance rent; Global Daeil Subic, Inc., which signed a payment deal for P16.6 million; and Subic Bay Yacht Club, Inc., which availed of a similar repayment scheme for P11.8 million.

Meanwhile, SBMA records indicated that the agency issued billings to business locators totalling P3.88 billion from January 2016 to December 2017. From this, the agency was able to collect P3.12 billion, thus posting a collection efficiency of 80 percent.

On the other hand, the agency recorded a collection efficiency of 83 percent for its housing accounts in the same two-year period, when it netted P167.7 million from total billings of P201.4 million.

Eisma likewise said that as part of the agency’s collection thrust, the SBMA initiated an audit last year that had so far yielded P18.3 million in new billings for gross revenue shares from several business locators in the zone.

“The audit is still on-going, and everyone in the business community here can expect that they will be treated equally and fairly within the policy framework,” she added.

Earlier, the SBMA chief announced the strict but consistent implementation of existing policies covering the use of areas and facilities leased to business locators, which are operating in Subic under a tax- and duty-free regime.

She said that along this line, the SBMA has already repossessed facilities that some business locators have left idle and unimproved, revoked the lease and development contract of investors that failed to meet their obligations, and implemented a stringent policy to collect SBMA receivables, as approved by the Board of Directors.

Eisma explained that the strict measures, coupled with the streamlining of business processes in the free port zone, are meant to improve the business climate in Subic, and foster economic sustainability and equal opportunity for all.

News 2018

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