Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) has a total area of 67, 452 hectares both land and water (water area has a total of 12,350 hectares and a land area of 55, 102 hectares as defined by Proclamation No. 532 of the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone SSEFZ) Metes and Bound. It is comprised by the City of Olongapo, Subic Town, San Antonio in Zambales and the former US Naval Reservation.
The earliest predecessor to the USFAC Subic Bay was an un finished Spanish Naval Station, acquired by the U. S. in 1898, following the Spanish American War. During World War II, most of the original station was destroyed by American rear guard action and aircraft bombing attacks. Following World War II and the achievement of Philippine independence, a decision was made to establish a U. S. Naval Base at Subic Bay. Substantial construction efforts were begun and accelerated during the Korean Conflict, resulting in the establishment of the U. S. Naval Base, Subic Bay, in 1954.
Much of the area now occupied by the Freeport was previously occupied by the City of Olongapo. At that time, the Commander of the Naval Base was also in control of the City of Olongapo.
During the Vietnam Conflict, construction of the facilities was again accelerated, and with the expansion of the Seventh Fleet, Subic Bay became the busiest port in the Western Pacific. In February 1979, the Military Bases Agreement transferred control of the U. S. Naval Base, Subic Bay to the Philippine government. The Agreement expired in September 1991. The facilities have since been turned over to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority as part of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ). SBMA and SFA were created on February 5, 1992 through Act No. 7227 of the Republic of the Philippines.
SBF is located southwest of Luzon Island in the Philippines. The harbor lies between the Zambales Mountain Range at the east and Subic Bay at the west and opens up to the South China Sea. It is northwest of the Bataan Peninsula and southwest of the Zambales Province. The SBF is 110 kilometers northwest of Manila. Manila Bay and Bataan Peninsula separate SFZ from Manila. Adjacent LGUs to SBFZ are City of Olongapo, Municipalities of Subic and San Antonio in Zambales, Morong, Hermosa and Dinalupihan in Bataan.
Aside from the physical location, Subic Bay is also:
•Located in the heart of Asia Pacific, the fastest growth outpost of high-tech economy. SBF is accessible by air within four hours from any Asian capital (Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan). It is also only 110 kilometers by land from the Philippine capital, Manila.
•A gateway of international shipping and air lines. Almost half of the world’s container fleet passes by Subic Bay’s doorway. SBF is a critical entry point to over 500 million ASEAN markets. Meanwhile, courier giant Federal Express (FedEx) operates its regional distribution hub at the Subic Bay International Airport.
•Has an excellent timezone differential of only 12-15 hours from the East/West Coast of the United States (No need to pay costly nightly premiums).
The planning area is situated in the northwestern corner of the Bataan Peninsula, sandwiched between the areas ‘two major natural features; the Zambales Mountain Range and Subic Bay. The mountain range separates the complex from the Central Luzon Plain, and protects the base from the monsoons and trade winds from the northeast. Subic Bay provides an excellent, well-protected harbor which opens up to the South China Sea.
The geology of the Subic Bay region is most heavily influenced by lava flows and pyroclastic deposits from two volcanic centers: Mount Balikibok, about 10 miles to the north, and Mount Natib, 11 miles to the southeast. Mount Santa Rita, a vent located to the northeast of the U.S. Facility, Subic Bay, also influences the area geology.
The Subic Bay Freeport is located at the toe of the foothills of the Zambales Mountain Range. The terrain around Subic Bay is mountainous with relatively steep slopes extending almost to the water’s edge. Peaks within the area exceed 150 meters (500 feet) in height. The developed areas have literally been carved out of the hills or created by filling low lying areas.
Development costs on steep slopes are generally higher than on level land, due to additional site work needed and special design considerations to prevent damage from soil erosion and landslides caused by heavy rainfall. In general, areas with slopes of up to ten percent can be used for all types of development, and as a result, are developed first. Much of the easily developed land in the area has already been developed.