Subic's Ocean Adventure faces closure: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 02 2019 08:20 PM

The Ocean Adventure theme park in Subic Bay may shut down its operations due to "breach of contract," the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority said. Trisha Mostoles, ABS-CBN News

The Ocean Adventure theme park in Subic Bay may shut down after the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) issued a notice of pre-termination of the tourist destination's lease due to "breach of contract."

SBMA chairman and administrator Wilma Eisma said the 2007 contract between the agency and the theme park's operator, Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium Inc. (SBMI), included development of 100 hectares of the area leased by SBMI. The firm allegedly did not follow the commitment.

SBMI currently leases 500 hectares of land in Subic Bay but they are only allowed to put up establishments in 20 percent of the area.

"Kasama po sa contractual obligations na hindi nila sinunod ay ang development commitment, kung saan pinangako nila na ang almost 100 hectares should have been developed already by this time," Eisma said Wednesday.

(One of the contractual obligations which they (SBMI) did not follow was the development commitment, in which they promised that 100 hectares should have been developed already by this time.)

But Robert Ianne Gonzaga, SBMI's CEO and president, said 20 hectares have already been developed. He denied Eisma's accusation, saying they had submitted plans for further development in the area.

"Sabi nila mayroon daw failure to develop. OK, pero kayo nga 'yung nagtatali ng kamay namin para 'di makapag-develop e," he said.

(They say there was failure to develop. Ok, but they are the ones tying our hands and not letting us develop.)

Gonzaga added they plan to build "adventure trails" that would occupy at least 5 hectares.

Eisma, however, said SBMI has not yet submitted development plans.

"Papano ko po sila mabibigyan ng konsiderasyon kung wala naman po silang binibigay na plano? Sige po, hindi ko babawiin ang 100 hektaryang hawak nila, pero wala naman po silang plano at pera na kaya nilang i-develop ang property na iyon," said Eisma.

(How can I give them consideration if they haven't given any plans? Sure, I will not take their 100 hectares, but they don't have plans and money to develop that property.)

SBMI, whose lease contract with SBMA was supposed to run until 2057, has some 500 employees who are now in danger of losing their jobs.

SBMA meanwhile said that if an agreement will not be reached, Subic's Ocean Adventure will be shut in two years.

- Report from Trisha Mostoles, ABS-CBN News