Live your life in Subic Bay without leaving America. That’s right, you can settle down in Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) in the Philippines without worrying about lifestyle change and cultural adjustments that one has to go through when settling down in a foreign land. If you are an American, a retiree or one who is just looking for a place to settle down, you will love it here in Subic.
When Subic Naval Base was converted into a Freeport zone by the then Mayor and now Senator Richard Gordon, through an enabling law, the rules on discipline as espoused by the Americans, were not changed and were in fact adapted and continued to be enforced by the local authorities. That is why; one would say that once you enter the gates of Subic Freeport, you are actually in an American territory. Traffic rules and regulations are patterned after the American system and are strictly enforced. Traffic enforcers are strict and cannot be bribed. All existing structures and utilities were made following US standards and specifications.
Subic Bay Freeport Zone is located in Zambales, Philippines. This place was once the home of the largest American Naval base in the world. In 1992, the US abandoned the Naval Base after the eruption of nearby Mount Pinatubo in 1991, the largest volcanic eruption in over 100 years that practically covered the entire naval base with ash fall causing a significant numbers of buildings inside the base to collapse. This American Naval Base was the home of the US 7th Fleet. The last ship, USS Belleau Wood left in November 24, 1992, signaling the end of the American military presence in the Philippines.
Subic Bay today is home to some of the world’s blue chip companies including Hanjin Shipbuilders of South Korea, FedEx, Acer, Hitachi, etc. A Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean Industrial Parks were constructed inside the Freeport industrial area and are now home to some of the world’s biggest exporters of electronic and other manufactured products to the world.
The Freeport has a complement of topnotch infrastructure and accommodations facilities. The Zone is host to a large Naval facility and a topnotch airport that were originally constructed by the US Armed Forces. Aside from hotels and retirement facilities, the Freeport offers private homes that you can actually own or lease for 50 years for a very reasonable price. These housing facilities were used by the officers of the US military establishment during their tour of duty in the Philippines. Condominiums and Townhouses are likewise available for sale or lease to foreigners.
Among the facilities and amenities inside the Freeport are fine restaurants, movie houses, hospitals, supermarkets, duty-free shops, casinos, hotels and resorts, first class beaches, ocean parks, Island resorts, etc. Outside of the Freeport are new first class villages and self-contained communities.
If you are a foreigner, the easiest way to start life in Subic is for you to avail of a retiree visa that is being offered by the Philippine Retirement Authority. You don’t have to be a Senior Citizen to qualify so long as you are at least 39 years old when you apply. You can bring along your family and you can also work if you have an employer. The other way is for you to invest in the country by setting up a business inside the Freeport Zone. If you qualify, you can stay on as Zone investor and be entitled to various tax incentives and exemptions. There are of course other ways of making your stay legal like getting married to a Philippine citizen, obtaining a work permit, etc.
Subic is approximately 130 kilometers from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. Travel time by car takes a little over one hour via the new toll way that connects Clark Freeport Zone to Subic in Zambales