Subic firms open ₧72-million commercial complex


Subic Bay Freeport—While some companies here were forced to scale down their operations due to the pandemic, a number of firms continued with their usual business and had even managed to expand their operations.

Last Friday, Taiwanese investors here inaugurated the Subic Bay Gateway Park-Food Services, Inc. (SBGP-FSI), a two-story P72-miliion commercial project that housed specialty restaurants, shops and products showroom, a function hall, and the most popular feature of all—the country’s first 7-11 drive-through convenience store.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, who graced the opening ceremony for the project, pointed out the significance of this launch amid the lingering Covid-19 pandemic. The complex, which broke ground last year at the height of the pandemic-caused economic downturn, “demonstrates the resiliency of the Subic Freeport to rise amid the pandemic because of solid economic foundation,” she said.

“[It also] proves that the Subic agency has taken the right response to the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic.” The newly-inaugurated commercial complex sits along Efficiency Avenue at one busy corner of the Subic Bay Gateway Park, an industrial enclave populated by mostly Taiwanese companies.

The two-story building top-bills the SBGP Food Services Inc., a joint venture between SBGP developer Subic Bay Development and Management Corp. Inc. (SBDMC) and property developer and manager MCOM Subic Corporation.

SBDMC President Willy Wang, who also heads SBGP-FSI, said that aside from the high-end 7-Eleven convenience store drive-through, the complex also features the Royal Park Restaurant that offers authentic Taiwanese cuisine, a TECO home appliances store, a Taiwanese food specialty store that offers authentic Taiwanese food products, and a function hall with a capacity of 100 persons. Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) Philippine Representative Michael Hsu, who also graced the opening, commented that the SBGP-FSI project is “a testament of the strong relationship between the Philippines and Taiwan.”

“Now that the SBGP-FSI has opened, Filipinos here can savor the taste of Taiwanese cooking,” Hsu said, adding that cuisine from different countries can break boundaries and bring nations together.

In the same occasion, several Taiwanese firms also donated two ambulances, a police patrol car, and a vaccine refrigerator to the SBMA—yet another indicator that the economy is picking up here.

According to the SBMA, Taian Subic Electric donated the vaccine chamber, while the SBDMC and MCOM Subic Corp. donated the two ambulances. Meanwhile, the police patrol pick-up truck was donated by members of the Subic Bay Taiwan Chamber of Commerce: SBDMC Inc., Universal Philippines Corp., Sky Movement Logistics Inc., Tailin Abrasives Corp., Haw Cheng Yen (Paul Gan), Le Charme Hotel, Upower Building Corp., Jack Metal Inc., Limech Mfg & Trading Corp., Tao Hang Corp., and MSK Group Work, Inc.

The SBMA has consistently reported an uptick in business activities in the Subic Bay Freeport despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Early this year, the SBMA said that a total of 63 new projects were put up by business locators here in 2020, while 16 existing companies expanded their operations. Last August, the SBMA said that the number of registered Subic investors continued to grow from 1,691 in 2019 to 1,706 in 2020 and to 1,744 by midyear 2021.

Image courtesy of Henry Empeño

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