SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Staying true to its mandate of spurring development among the eight local government units (LGUs) near the Subic Bay Freeport, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) continues to provide revenue shares to neighboring communities despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the agency will release next week a total of P123.1 million, which came from revenue collections between July and December 2020 and the retained amount from the 2018 second semester LGU share.
“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,” she added.
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.
The SBMA will release the shares to LGU officials in staggered schedules beginning next week.
The LGU share is determined according to population (50 per cent), land area (25 per cent), and equal sharing (25 per cent). Olongapo, which is a highly urbanized city, always received the biggest chunk of the shares.
The shares constitute 2% of the 5% 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 to combat 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.
For the entire 2020, the SBMA has released a total of P277.98 million in revenue shares to seven municipalities and one city near the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.