Press Release
November 26, 2016


More than two decades after the departure of American forces from the former Subic Naval Base gave birth to a flourishing Freeport, Senator Richard J. Gordon stressed the need to honor the sacrifices of the volunteers who, twenty-four years ago, protected and helped into making Subic Freeport a star investment and tourism location.

Gordon, founding Chairman and Administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said that without the volunteers' integrity, hard-work and compassion, Subic Freeport would not have been acclaimed as the most globally successful military bases-conversion effort shortly after the Americans turned over the facilities on November 24, 1992.

The Commission on Audit recently came out with a report saying that the previous SBMA administration declared a P4-billion in a "accounts receivable" status in 2015.

"We should honor the sacrifices of the thousands of volunteers who made Subic a flourishing investment and tourism hub. When the Americans left the bases, we guarded the facility so that there will be no looting and the naval base won't go the way of Sangley Point Naval Base in Cavite. Binantayan namin ng husto ang facility para walang mangyaring nakawan at pinanatili namin ang kalinisan ng kapaligiran," Gordon pointed out.

"We had not yet fully recovered from the devastation caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and when the Americans left, our people lost their jobs. If we did not guard and maintain the facilities, we would have lost even more. Even before the departure of the US forces, I already had a vision to convert the naval base into a Freeport," he added.

The senator said that through hard work and seamless service from investment to operations, foreign and domestic investors soon flocked to the Freeport so that 70,000 jobs were created, benefitting residents of Olongapo City, Zambales and the other nearby provinces. SBMA also did not receive a budget allocation from the government, instead the Freeport contributed to the national government's coffers.

"I want to see Subic Freeport back to its former glory. I hope the new administrator will work hard to get new investors. The airport should also be rehabilitated to entice investors," he said.

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