• Fresh investments from US, China, Japan coming to Subic–SBMA chair

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    SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: The biggest slot machine maker in the US, casino operators for high rollers, a new 3,000 hectare industrial zone to house Japanese, Chinese and other investors, and big infrastructure projects are some of the new things coming to Subic, says Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and self-appointed administrator and chief executive officer Martin Diño.

    In an exclusive interview with The Manila Times on Monday, Diño said he has talked with the owner of the biggest maker of slot machines in Las Vegas who has deliveries of some 200 units per day. “I explained to them what we have in Subic Bay and they’re considering to put up operations here that will employ some 500 workers,” Diño said.

    He added that while in Las Vegas, he also talked with casino operators and they expressed interest in putting up casinos for junkets in Subic. “This is purely for the high rollers, so it will not affect Filipinos,” he said.

    Diño lamented that SBMA is bigger than Singapore in terms of land area but 25 years after the US military left there has not been much development there.

    The SBMA chairman said a 3,000 hectare industrial zone can be built at the back of Hanjin shipyard in Redondo Peninsula that can be given to new investors to Subic. However, to do this, he said a bypass road needs to be constructed to link SCTEX to Hermosa in Bataan and to the Hanjin road in Subic town.

    “We’ll fix the road because right now if you go out of Olongapo City and Subic town, there is so much traffic and we will build a new P15 billion road to address this, Diño told The Manila Times.

    He said an investor expressed interest in the project when he was in China.

    According to him, Hanjin is also very interested and has even lent him a chopper to tour the area. “Hanjin told me they are not only engaged in shipbuilding but also in road construction.”.

    He added that Japan and Korea are also interested because they see the viability of Subic.

    Diño also talked about the planned expansion of Subic port. “We are going to build two new piers and it will cost P10 billion but there is already a Japanese investor interested to do this,” he said.

    He also mentioned the agency’s plan to widen the roads at a cost of P2 billion and build a bullet train between Subic and Clark.

    Diño said he has been talking to Bataan’s Rep. Geraldine Roma about a Subic- Mariveles highway.

    “After Subic-Mariveles, Mariveles-Corregidor, then Corregidor-Cavite so you have a San Francisco type bridge, interlinking them,” Diño said adding that this could cost up to US$20 billion.

    Diño said he also wants to put up in Subic a huge ferris wheel like “eye in the sky” and a big roller coaster plus a cable car.

    He said he also went to Hollywood and Universal Studios and may put up a place here to shoot films inside Subic.

    He said these are just some of the innovations he wants to do during his term. “I also want Subic to be included among the tourist destinations of the country.”

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