The Subic Bay Freeport Zone’s (SBFZ) role to accelerate growth and development in the Philippines is undeniably important and strategic. This is reflected in the government’s initiative to form the SubicClark Alliance for Development (SCAD) Program as it positioned these former US military bases as an integrated area for investment and one of the most competitive international service, maritime and logistic hubs in Southeast Asia. Major infrastructure projects such as the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the upgrading of port facilities prepare SBFZ to host bigger investors and locators in the near time. Hanjin Heavy Industries, the 4th largest shipbuilding facility in the world is included in the current list of locators in SBFZ. Many events in the past had transformed the formal naval base into what it is today. In 1991, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo forced the American to abandon the heavily damaged Clark Air Base. This made the American military personnel transferred to Subic and nearby facilities in Guam and Hawaii. A year after that, the Philippine Senate rejected the 10-year Bases Treaty of Friendship, Peace and Cooperation. This led to the formal turnover of the bases to Philippine government. As a result many Filipinos who worked in the bases lost their jobs. On March 13, 1992, Former President Corazon Aquino signed the Republic Act 7227, now known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 and took full advantage of the former Naval base infrastructure and facilities. The Act created Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) as the sole government entity in-charge of developing and operating the Freeport as a separate custom territory. Moreover SBMA was granted the powers to operate and regulate the international airport and seaport, accept local investments, construct necessary utilities and infrastructure support services. This paves the way for many and interesting developments in the Freeport through the years. Over the past years, SBMA has adopted an aggressive policy of privatizing some of its core functions and services. The intention is to streamline private investments in the Freeport. Thus, some public management functions and services are operated more efficiency and effectively. This hopes to encourage more meaningful private-public partnerships in order to accelerate growth and investments, projecting SBFZ all the more as the leading international maritime and logistics center in the region. At present, with the completion of 45-kilometer SCTEX and the forming of the Subic-Clark Corridor as growth area, the pace of development is expected to move faster. The Central Business District (CBD) and its suburbs are experiencing rapid development and transformation. Growth pattern is expanding beyond the CBD and nearby districts. Issues between attracting investments and protecting the environment are shaping as major decision point for SBMA as well as for locators. Thus, there is a need to review all the existing plans and come up with a comprehensive master plan that will guide SBMA in developing and rationalizing growth potentials of the Freeport. Existing plans need therefore to be updated and strengthened. This will introduce land use controls and clearer development guidelines that are responsive to the call of present time.
Macro Setting: The Philippines The Philippines is strategically located in South East Asia region. The country is widely known for its vast natural resources and tourism potentials. With a total land area of 300,000 square kilometers, stretching 1,839 kilometers from north to southeast coast of Asia, the Philippine archipelago is composed of 7,107 islands, which is considered to be the largest island groups in the world. It is bounded by Taiwan and Japan on the North and Northwest, the South China Sea, Thailand and Vietnam in the west, the Pacific in the east and by the Celebes Sea in the South. Region III or Central Luzon is the third largest region after Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog in terms of population. It comprise the following provinces: Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Aurora and Bataan. The recent years marks a very significant rise of the region in terms of economic development as seen in various initiatives poured in by the national government in positioning Central Luzon as gateway of growth and progress.
Population Population in the SBFZ can be presented in two ways. One is the daytime population which accounts for all the employees or workers of both the SBMA and the locators. The other one presents only those who are living inside the perimeter of SBFZ. Thus strictly speaking only those who are staying and living in the different housing sites in SBFZ are considered and accounted as residents. The current workforce now is around 87,000 and only a little over 3,000 are actual residents of SBFZ. Olongapo City, which is the most adjacent LGU to the Freeport accounts for 227,270 residents. Most of the workers in SBFZ therefore reside in this nearby city.
Region/Province/Highly Urbanized City 1-Aug-07 PHILIPPINES REGION III- CENTRAL LUZON Aurora Bataan Bulacan Nueva Ecija Pampanga Angeles City Tarlac Zambales Olongapo City 88,574,614 9,720,982 187,802 662,153 2,826,926 1,853,853 1,911,951 314,493 1,243,449 493,085 227,270
The data from the Land Asset Management Department (LAMD) showed that there are about 3,195 residents in SBMA, which was based from the identification request that LAMD endorsed to the Office Services Department from the period of January 2008 to April 2009. Based on the count, there are 1,859 residents in Binictican district as compared to only 1,247 in Kalayaan, while Cubi-Triboa has 89.