SBMA OK’s P5-M COVID-19 emergency fund

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has approved a P5-million supplemental fund for equipment and supplies to respond to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emergency.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the agency’s board of directors authorized the appropriation during its meeting on Tuesday after the SBMA began its disinfection protocol in offices and other public areas in the Freeport over the weekend.

Eisma said the P5-milion budget will be used to purchase additional spraying agents  equipment and disinfecting to sustain a twice-a-day spraying schedule, as well as protective gears like hazmat (hazardous materials) suits, and a new ambulance.

Part of the supplemental fund will also go to the maintenance of a quarantine facility at the Subic Bay International Airport complex, she added.

”We will do everything to keep COVID-19 out of Subic Bay and protect our stakeholders here,” Eisma vowed on Wednesday.

SBMA director Marvin Macapagal said the board unanimously approved the supplemental budget because it was important to maintain Subic’s safety and security to keep it attractive to investors and its stakeholders.

SBMA Deputy Administrator for Public Health and Safety Ronnie Yambao  said the SBMA has already spent almost P1 million for the initial purchase of face masks, thermal scanners,  goggles, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to equip health personnel here in the battle against COVID-19.

He added that the Subic authority has also mobilized a 24/7 medical team to coordinate health events and concerns with the Department of Health (DOH) and its accredited and referral hospitals and the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), and set up 24/7 telephone helpline to answer any COVID-19 related inquiry.