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Former SBMA chair takes over as PAGCOR prexy

New PAGCOR President and COO Wilma T. Eisma takes her oath of office before Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin.

OLONGAPO CITY — Former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma “Amy” T. Eisma has formally taken over as president and chief operating officer of the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) on April 18.

Eisma, who was appointed by President Marcos as PAGCOR director on March 27, 2024, served as director of the Development Bank of the Philippines after she left the SBMA in 2022.

She was sworn into office as PAGCOR president and COO Thursday morning in Malacañang by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin.

An April 2 memorandum from Bersamin had previously informed PAGCOR Chairman Alejandro H. Tengco that Malacañang had also approved Eisma’s nomination as PAGCOR president and chief operating officer.

Eisma, a lawyer who graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University, became the first woman to head the SBMA as chairman and administrator, earning distinction for drawing out outstanding financial performance by the agency by promoting the culture of “malasakit” among workers and investors in the free port zone.

Her astute management of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone also earned her distinction, including a silver Stevie Award for “Thought Leader of the Year” in 2023 for proactive measures she instituted as SBMA chief and for crafting a roadmap to survival before and at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic that saved jobs and investments in Subic Bay.

Eisma took her oath of office in the presence of her family, as well as Chairman Tengco and DBP Chairman Philip G. Lo. (PR)