SBMA eyes collection of P144.8-M past-due accounts

SBMA eyes collection of P144.8-M past-due accounts

SBMA eyes collection of P144.8-M past-due accounts

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Efforts by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to collect overdue rentals and other fees from business locators here are now paying off, with the agency expecting to collect some P144.8 million either through upfront settlement or payment scheme in the next five years.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma reported that more than 30 investor-companies here have cooperated with the current administration to settle their long-due obligations and negotiated for payment arrangements that were approved by the SBMA Board.
“We’re gaining much headway in our collection program because our investors understand that we are serious in managing Subic with transparency, impartiality, and consistency,” Eisma said.
“They can see for themselves that we are applying rules uniformly in keeping with the thrust of President Duterte to fully utilize government assets and maximize their benefits,” she added.
Eisma pointed out that the current SBMA Board had approved staggered payment of accounts in order to collect debts that accumulated but remained unacted upon by previous administrations.
“We simply inherited these problems, but it is now incumbent upon us to set things right and prevent more losses to the government,” she said.
She added that the payment schemes approved by the Board of Directors since January 2017 had so far accounted for P102.45 million in peso accounts and $847,203 in dollar accounts, or a total of P144.8 million in principal alone.
These amounts cover payments for arrears in mostly land rentals and leases of facilities, as well as unpaid common use service area (CUSA) fees, deposits, performance bonds, and other charges.
The payment schemes will also yield more than P5.6 million and $53,000 in future interests, Eisma added.
Among the companies with approved payment schemes are Lyceum of Subic Bay, with P31.58 million in arrears, deposits, and other fees; Global Daeil Subic, Inc., P16.68 million; Subic Bay Yacht Club, P10 million; and Speed Subic Corporation, P6.77 million.
The latest firm to avail of a payment scheme was Japanese pioneer company Koryo Subic, Inc. According to the payment scheme approved by the SBMA Board, Koryo would pay $219,688 for lease rental of its three expansion areas, as well as CUSA fee amounting to P394,491.
The Board also called for upfront payments of $43,937 in rent and P78,893 in CUSA fee, as well as escalation rates for the computation of its back lease rentals.
Eisma said that alongside the SBMA’s program to collect overdue debts, the agency is also vigorously pursuing the recovery of unused assets that were previously contracted out for management by Subic-registered companies.
“We have, in fact, repossessed some SBMA facilities that have been left idle or unimproved by lessee- companies, and we have also revoked the contract of investors who failed to meet their contractual obligations,” the SBMA chief said.
“We have to do this because the SBMA and the government are losing money every single minute that these prime assets remain unproductive,” Eisma explained.
“Land, and the buildings and facilities on it, is a very precious commodity in the Subic Bay Freeport because of the limited space here, so we have to be diligent in optimizing these assets for productive economic activities,” she said.
Eisma added that an audit initiated by her administration in December last year had resulted in gross revenue billings amounting to more than P18 million from 13 companies in the Freeport.
“These are all part of our transparency drive, which in the long run would redound to a better business climate in the Subic Freeport,” Eisma said.

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