SBMA gets new chair, ends power struggle
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ended the power struggle in the SBMA after issuing Executive Order No. 42, defining the powers and functions of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator and Directors.
As a result of the reorganization, Duterte virtually eased out Martin Diño and instead appointed current SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma as the agency’s new chairperson and head of agency.
The new executive order repealed EO No. 340 (s. 2004) issued by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which separated the position of the SBMA Chairman from the position of SBMA administrator.
To avoid confusion, EO No. 42 directed that the appointed SBMA administrator by the President shall also be the ex-officio chairman of the SBMA Board.
“The powers of the SBMA Board, as defined under Republic Act No. 7227, shall be exercised by the SBMA Board of Directors,” the EO added.
Further, the SBMA administrator will also act as chief executive officer.
Its functions include: To implement policies and measures approved by the SBMA Board, to supervise the operations and daily activities of the SBMA, and to exercise the powers of control and supervision over decisions and actions of subordinate officers.
As CEO, the administrator will represent the SBMA in all dealings with government agencies, sign all permits and other official documents issued by the SBMA, and execute, on behalf of the SBMA, all contracts and instruments affecting the interests of the SBMA.
The Palace made the move after the House of Representatives questioned the legality of EO 340, which separated the powers and functions of the SBMA administrator and chairman.
The power struggle in the agency started when Malacañang last year appointed lawyer Randy Escolango as SBMA officer in charge.
Diño refused to recognize Malacañang’s order, then claimed he assumed the functions of both SBMA chairman and administrator.
Diño was appointed SBMA chairman on Sept. 23 last year and assumed office on Oct. 3, while Eisma was appointed Dec. 21.
Diño, meanwhile, is reportedly set to be appointed to a post at the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The SBMA has jurisdiction over the 67,000- hectare Subic Bay Freeport Zone and all the coastal boundaries of Subic Bay.
It has registered 1,115 companies with US$6.0 billion worth of investment that has generated more than 87,000 jobs.