Monday, August 30, 2004

House urged to probe Subic road project

THE President’s son, Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo of Pampanga, on Sunday sought a congressional inquiry into the delay in the completion of his mother’s pet project in Central Luzon, the Subic-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP).

Arroyo, at the same time, urged concerned agencies like the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to speed up the completion of the project saying, “Whatever delay is disadvantageous to the countryside.”

“I hope that the government agencies concerned like the NEDA will be able to pay its attention to this very vital project, which is expected to benefit our entrepreneurs . . . which is expected to bring progress and commerce,” he said in a telephone interview.

Arroyo said the continued delay in the project’s completion defeats its purpose, which is to propel economic growth and progress not only in Central Luzon but throughout the country as well.

He said that the project has been delayed for 22 months now, long enough after the NEDA approved the project at a cost of P15.247 billion in October 1999.

The P27-billion project, which is the seventh on the Arroyo administration’s 10-point agenda, is supposed to link the Subic Freeport in Zambales and the Clark Air Base in Pampanga to Tarlac.

It is expected to transform Central Luzon into an “economic superstar” by turning the region into an international transshipment hub and logistic center. It is also projected to create jobs and decongest Metro Manila.

The Bases Conversion Development Authority has been wanting to execute the project, but its efforts are being hampered by the insistence of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri to have the project rebidded and redesigned so it would interconnect with the existing North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Neri sought to rebid the project owing to the BCDA’s alleged “procedural lapses,” an assertion that Rufo Colayco, BCDA president, strongly denied. Colayco said the Lopez-controlled Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) stands to benefit from the rebidding.

Congressman Arroyo is among the signatories to an open letter to President Arroyo urging her “to instruct the project’s implementing agency, the Bases Conversion Development Authority and the National Economic Development Authority, to urgently resolve causes of delay so that the project can take off soon.”

Arroyo, along with other local officials, expressed alarm over the delay. “We have long waited for the completion of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project, Madame President. We are very much concerned by the rapid and inevitable increase in the cost of project materials, and the fact that people in the region are already proposing for possible extensions of the road project to the northern and eastern sides. . . We cannot help but be anxious by the delay in the project’s implementation especially because we want to keep the momentum.

“We appeal to you, Madame President, to help us realize our aspirations the soonest possible time with the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway,” read the letter, which was also signed by Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Gov. Mark Lapid of Pampanga, Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao, Rep. Francis Nepomuceno and Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The letter also said that the four-lane 94.5-kilometer expressway, when completed, will be the backbone of a new economy in Central Luzon, creating the impetus for economic growth through efficient access to the seaport and airport. The project is also designed to provide the shortest, direct and efficient link among vital development areas in the region: The Central Techno Park in Tarlac, Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga and Subic Bay Freeport in Zambales.

“This in turn will help the region transform a globally competitive agro-industrial-logis­tical complex,” the officials said in the letter.

The other signatories to the open letter are Dennis Pineda, president of the Mayors’ League of Pampanga; Mayor Carmelo Lazatin of Angeles City; Mayor Oscar Rodriguez of San Fernando City; Mayor Exequiel Gamboa of Porac; Levy P. Laus, president of the PCCI in Pampanga; Renato Romero, private sector representative for Trade and Industry-Regional Development Council in Central Luzon;

George Sorio, president of Clark Investors and Locators Association; Rolando Peña, president of Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Willy Ong, president of Filipino-Chinese Chamber-Angeles City; Carmen McTavish, chair of Clark Investors and Locators Association; Catalina Saplala, co-chair of the Regional Development Council in Central Luzon; Renato Tayag, private sector representative for agriculture-RDC in Central Luzon; Rosemarie Herrera, spokeswoman for Citizens’ Movement for Federal Philippines-Central Luzon and Charito Sebastian, professor of Economics, UP Extension Program-Pampanga.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

EO 340 Reorganizing SBMA






WHEREAS, one of the declared targets of the Government is to develop the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone [Subic Special Economic Zone] established under Republic Act No. 7227 approved on March 13, 1992 [RA 7227] and the Clark Special Economic Zone established by virtue of Proclamation No. 163 (s. 1993) as the best international service and logistics center in the region;

WHEREAS, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority [SBMA], which was created by virtue of RA 7227, is the agency mandated to develop the Subic Special Economic Zone into a self-sustaining, industrial, commercial, financial and investment center to generate employment opportunities in and around the zone and to attract and promote productive foreign investments;

WHEREAS, Section 13 of RA 7227 provides that the SBMA Administrator who shall serve as the Chief Executive Officers thereof, shall also be the ex officio Chairman of the SBMA Board of Directors [SBMA Board];

WHEREAS, in view of the multifarious requirements, functions and responsibilities of the Administrator as ex-officio Chairman of the SBMA Board and as Chief Executive Officer of the SBMA, and to ensure the accomplishment of the Government’s target to develop the Subic Special Economic Zone as the best international service and logistics center in the region, there is a need to reorganize the SBMA Board by separating and allocating the powers, functions and duties of the Chairman of the SBMA Board and the Administrator as Chief Executive Officer of the SBMA;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing law, do hereby order:

SECTION 1. Reorganization. – The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority [SBMA] shall be appointed by the President while the SBMA Administrator shall serve as ex-officio Vice-Chairman of the SBMA Board.

SECTION. 2. Powers and Duties of SBMA Chairman. – The SBMA Chairman shall be the head of the agency and as such, shall have the following powers, functions and duties:

To preside at all meetings of the SBMA Board;
To ensure that all policies, directives, plans and programs formulated by the SBMA Board are faithfully carried out by the Administrator as Chief Executive Officer of the SBMA; and

To exercise such powers and perform such functions and duties as the President may direct, or as may be assigned to him by the SBMA Board.
SECTION. 3. Powers and Duties of SBMA Administrator. – The Administrator, who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the SBMA, shall have the following powers, functions and duties:

To execute, administer and implement the policies and measures approved and adopted by the SBMA Board;
To directly administer and supervise the operations and day-to-day business activities of the SBMA;
To represent the SBMA in all dealings with offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the Government and with all persons and entities, public or private, domestic or foreign, unless otherwise directed by the President or by the SBMA Board;
To execute on behalf of the SBMA, all contracts, agreements and other instruments affecting the interests of the SBMA duly approved by the SBMA Board;
To direct and supervise the preparation of the agenda for the meetings of the SBMA Board;
To preside at the meetings of the SBMA Board in the absence of the Chairman; and
To exercise such other powers, functions and duties as may be provided in the By-Laws and as may directed by the President or assigned to him by the SBMA Board.
SECTION. 4. Repealing Clause. - All executive issuances, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby revoked, amended, or modified accordingly.

SECTION 5. Effectivity. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

City of Manila, Aug 04 2004


By the President:

Executive Secretary