New SBMA chief prioritizes ease of doing business

Jonathan Tan, the newly appointed Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator, said he is prioritizing further streamlining in the processing of business permits of investors to ensure ease of doing business and create more jobs at the freeport.

In his first public interview at the Laging Handa Public Briefing as SBMA chief, Tan said he will further streamline business processes at the freeport in compliance with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s order to attract more foreign investors and create more jobs at the Subic Bay Freeport zone.

Tan, who served as mayor of Pandan, Antique from 2010 to 2019, reported that he highlighted ease of doing business when he met with Subic investors, locators, and stakeholders during his first Townhall meeting Wednesday since he assumed office last week.

“My priority is ease of doing business to ensure faster processes of business permits,” he said telling around 1,000 SBMA stakeholders. He also vowed to make the Townhall Meeting a regular event to thresh out issues and address them faster.

He also vowed of a participatory governance as SBMA chief, promising to consult all Subic Freeport stakeholders and to treat them as partners.

He also mentioned of efforts to improve existing facilities like port rehabilitation as well as tieups with Department of Tourism and stakeholders with resorts. At present, he said, there are several tourist-related activities in Subic, including, water sports, environmental, and ecotourism.

On smuggling, Tan said he has always emphasized to do his best to minimize if not eliminate smuggling in partnership with the Bureau of Customs.

He said that the success of Subic Freeport can be only be achieved with the help of everyone. During his term as a mayor, he said, he always reiterated the need to strengthen investor confidence to be able to help more Filipinos.