by Cecille Garcia
[ manilastandardtoday.com ] October 15, 2011
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT--The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and and Hermosa town are firming up plans to include some lands in Hermosa, Bataan, as extension of the free port under Executive Order 675.
In a recent meeting with SBMA directors, Hermosa Mayor Danilo Malana said the Bataan Provincial Council has passed a resolution last January “concurring and adopting Executive Order 675 which authorizes certain contiguous areas in Hermosa to be declared as additional secured areas under the Subic Bay Special Economic and Freeport Zone as defined under Proclamation No. 532 dated February 1, 1995.”
SBMA directors Bienvenido Benitez, Philip Camara, John Philip Chua Chiaco and Ramon Diez Sesdoryo said the move would draw more investors and create more jobs.
Malana, together with Hermosa vice mayor Christopher Vitug and councilors, expressed optimism in developing about 200 hectares of flat land in Sitio Mabiga, Barangay Tipo as the free port’s extension with certain sections suitbabel for eco-tourism.
Mabiga is a 10-minute drive from Subic Freeport and about 25 minutes from Clark.
“We will need an exit from SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) to Hermosa,” Malana said in a statement.
“This kind of shared development will redound to the mutual benefit of the SBMA and the town of Hermosa. It will not only address the SBMA’s need for more developable areas but also open up employment opportunities for the people,” said SBMA director Benitez who heads the SBMA board’s “Project Unity”.
The project covers consultations with the provinces of Zambales and Bataan along with the towns of Subic, Hermosa, Morong and the city of Olongapo.
Former SBMA administrator Armand Arreza described Hermosa as “an ideal expansion site for Subic Freeport” when he met with Malana in December last year to brief him about EO 675.
The executive order was issued in November 2007, authorized expansion of the free port sbeyong the presently fenced-in former US Naval Base.