12 December 2008 – The Makati Business Club expresses its concern regarding the issues being raised by the architect Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr. related to the development of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Architect Palafox warns that 366 trees, of which 36 are said to be endangered species, will be affected by a hotel-casino project being undertaken at the Subic freeport. At a time when the adverse impact of deforestation on climate systems is being felt all over the world, we strongly urge the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority to review the terms of this project on the basis of its environmental impact. To derive economic benefits by destroying even a small part of Subic’s forest is not sustainable development.
What is equally alarming is Architect Palafox’s allegation that someone from the SBMA solicited an 18 percent commission from his firm to improve their chances in a bidding held last year. This was for a project to update the Subic freeport’s master development plan. We call on the SBMA authorities to investigate this allegation and put in place the administrative mechanisms that will prevent opportunities for anomalous transactions in the SBMA’s procurement processes in the future.