Release beach operator’s permit, court tells SBMA
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) on Monday said it would abide by a decision of a local court compelling it to issue a business permit to a free port locator involved in a policy dispute with the agency.
Judge Roline Ginez-Jabalde of the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74 granted Brighterday Subic Ltd. Inc. (BSLI) a preliminary mandatory injunction, directing the SBMA to release the company’s certificate of registration and tax exemption (CRTE).
A CRTE is issued to new locators before they open their businesses in this free port in Zambales province.
The SBMA had not issued a CRTE to BSLI, saying the company, which operates All Hands Beach here, failed to pay its arrears amounting to P3 million.
In her Oct. 31 decision, which was released only last week, Jabalde said BSLI is a lessee and has the right to enjoy its leased property.
“Hence, it (BSLI) has the right to operate All Hands Beach complex. Necessary for its continued operation is the existence of CRTE and without it, the petitioner cannot enjoy the leased property,” Jabalde said in the three-page order.
According to Jabalde, the preliminary mandatory injunction will prevent “irreparable injury” to BSLI.
Lawyer Wilma Eisma, SBMA chair and administrator, said the agency respected Jabalde’s decision and “will abide by it.”
“We believe that everyone has the right to go to court and file grievance. We believe, too, that every court decision brings us one step closer to the resolution of issues,” Eisma said in a statement.
But Eisma said the court decision would not prevent the SBMA to collect BSLI’s outstanding obligation.
“This issue [on BSLI’s arrears] has yet to be resolved. Let it be known, therefore, that the SBMA will pursue this concern to its logical conclusion,” Eisma said. —JOANNA ROSE AGLIBOT
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