Subic Bay Freeport—Development assistance from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to neighboring communities will continue despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has shuttered the operations of a few businesses here.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the agency will release next week a total of P123.1 million in the form of revenue shares to the 7 municipalities and one city that either border this special economic zone or are affected by business operations here.
The windfall came from revenue collections from Subic-registered enterprises from July to December 2020 and the retained amount from the 2018 second semester share for local government units (LGU).
“The release for this period is 29.9 percent lower than the shares for the same period last year, which was P175.7 million. And this goes to show how much the Covid-19 health crisis has impacted—and continues to impact—Freeport operations,” Eisma said.
“But it also goes to show that despite Covid-19, the SBMA and business locators in the Freeport have sustained economic growth and that Subic Bay will continue to be a catalyst for development in this part of the country.”
For this period, Olongapo City will receive P28,631,819.10 in LGU share; followed by Subic, Zambales with P18,820,655.14; Dinalupihan, Bataan, P15,311,741.98; San Marcelino, Zambales, P14,753,996.41; Hermosa, Bataan, P12,818,258.50; Castillejos, Zambales, P11,522,821.52; Morong, Bataan, P10,697,853.76; and San Antonio, Zambales, P10,549,471.67.
SBMA will release the shares to LGU officials in staggered schedules beginning next week.
The LGU share is determined according to population (50 percent), land area (25 percent), and equal sharing (25 percent). Olongapo, which is a highly urbanized city, always received the biggest chunk of the shares.
The shares constitute 2 percent of the 5-percent gross corporate income taxes paid by business enterprises in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and were intended to augment LGU funds for tourism, infrastructure, education, peace and order, health, and livelihood generation.
With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, some LGUs said they have rechanneled part of the shares to health and safety programs aimed at combating Covid-19.
The LGU shares are released to LGUs twice a year, with tax collections from January to June released in August, and collections from July to December released in February the following year.
The SBMA said the latest amount would bring the LGU shares released for 2020 to a total of P277.98 million.