The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) released on Friday (August 6) a total of P166,167,942.10 representing the 2021 first semester revenue shares for the eight local government units (LGUs) contiguous to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the new release is 7.29 % higher than the P154,873,605.57 distributed in the same period last year, although far smaller than the shares given before the Covid-19 pandemic caused economic slowdown among businesses in Subic Freeport.
Eisma said the determination by the SBMA to stop the spread of Covid-19 here, coupled by continuous efforts to develop new revenue streams helped increase the agency’s income this year and subsequently the LGU allocations despite the economic downturn.
The LGUs that benefit from SBMA revenue shares are Olongapo City, the municipalities of Subic, San Marcelino, Castillejos, and San Antonio in Zambales, and the towns of Dinalupihan, Hermosa, and Morong in Bataan.
For the first semester of 2021, Olongapo City received the highest share amounting to P38,646,910.80, followed by Subic with P25,403,910.86, and Dinalupihan with P20,667,618.91.
The rest received their shares as follows: San Marcelino, P19,914,780.16; Hermosa, P17,301,942.69; Castillejos, P15,553,376.27; Morong, P14,439,842.95; and San Antonio, P14,239,559.46.
Cheques for the LGU shares were turned over to LGU representatives by SBMA Deputy Administrator for Finance Antonietta Sanqui last Friday.
Before this, the SBMA had released LGU shares totaling P656.85 million in the last two years alone. These include P203.13 million in August 2019, P175.73 million in February 2020, P154.87 million in September 2020, and P123.1 million last February.
Meanwhile, LGU executives who attended the turnover of shares said they would use the money to fund various health programs of the LGUs, especially the fight against the Covid-19 virus.
Mayor Elvis Soria of San Marcelino, Zambales said the funds are most welcome “especially these days when the rainy season affects many of our constituents and there’s a need to allocate funds for relief operations.”
Subic Mayor Jonathan John Khonghun, meanwhile, said they would also use part of the money for infrastructure projects like road construction, as well as for scholarship program “now that the school year is going to begin soon.”
The LGU shares are taken from the five-percent taxes paid by business locators in the Subic Bay Freeport and are apportioned among LGUs according to population (50%), land area (25%), and equal sharing (25%).
Republic Act No. 9400, which amended RA 7227 or the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, directs the SBMA to allocate two out of the five percent of gross income earned for LGU shares.