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New SBMA chief brings business savvy to Subic Freeport

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Newly appointed Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Eduardo Jose L. Aliño is expected to use his business acumen to spur further growth and drive operational efficiency in the Subic Bay Freeport, the preferred location for close to 1,500 foreign and local companies and business establishments.
Aliño, who replaced former Pandan, Antique mayor Jonathan D. Tan as SBMA chief took his oath of office before President Marcos today, Jan. 12. He was chairman and president of the S.T.A.R. Group of Companies, a major player in integrated supply chain services and port operations, before he was tapped by President Marcos for the Subic job.
This bodes well for Subic, a former base for the United States Navy whose core business asset is its sea port, observers here noted.
Aliño’s vast experience in providing strategic leadership and direction to various enterprises and bringing about successful collaborations with industry partners and stakeholders is also seen to be a plus factor for his new role as head of the Subic agency.
The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) had earlier pointed out that there is a need for the SBMA to “focus more on streamlining its operations (and) promoting growth, increased economic activity, and trade.”
The Subic agency also has to prioritize its most important mandate—that of generating investments and employment opportunities, the SBFCC said in a statement after the Covid 19 pandemic curtailed some business activities here.
Aliño, a devout Catholic, graduated from De La Salle University, BS mechanical engineering, and a self-made industrialist, could address these concerns with his vast experience in leadership and management.
Starting his career as a sales engineer for Far East Wires and Cables Corp. in 1972, he soon rose to a senior position in the Filinvest Manufacturing Group before joining the Bulk Indenting Services Corp. in 1983 as director for vessel operation. From there transitioning to senior positions in various firms involved in trading, cargo handling, and manufacturing. Such as President of Wise and Company (oldest company in the Philippines), Ocean Terminal Services Inc.  Vice President for operation and Premier Port of Manila, Division Manager of Uni Electric Products
Aliño’s biggest career move came in 1987 when he, together with San Beda and De La Salle classmate Jose Eduardo “Chito” J. Alarilla, set up Mega Equipment International Corp. (MEIC) for ship brokerage and integrated cargo handling services. at the Port of Manila.
With major clients like Bounty Fresh Food Inc., Unahco Inc., Pilmico, Bunge Agribusiness Phils. Inc., ADM Philippines, Inc, San Miguel Corp., General Milling Corp., Universal Robina, Republic Flour Mills Inc., Cargill Philippines, and Vitarich, MEIC flourished and paved the way for more successful ventures: Asia Lighterage Corp. (later Ocean Bees, Inc.), which owned and operated barges for transporting grains, Subic Bay Freeport Grain Terminal Services Inc. in 2000; Mega Subic Terminal Services Inc. in 2002; Batangueno Star Port Services Inc. in 2018, Oro Star Terminal Services Corporation in 2020.
Among these undertakings, Aliño considers Subic Bay Freeport Grain Terminal Services, Inc. (Subic Grain) as his flagship project and is one of the biggest and most efficient in the country as the company is the Developer and Operator of the Leyte Wharf terminal which services nearly half of all importation of the country’s Feed Requirements through its all-weather grain-handling conveyor system and storage facility with a total storage capacity of over 250,000 metric tons. This venture could be credited with helping ignite the SBFZ’s rise as one of the country’s best Port Areas.
Aside from his achievements in port operations, Aliño was variously involved as Director and/or Partner in other business sector such as supply chain, power and energy, construction, industrial trading, entertainment and tourism.
The new SBMA head was also chairman of the Subic Bay Yacht Club in 2015 to 2018 and in 2023 and is a major reason for each resurgence as of late. He also remains active in civic and non-government organizations like the Marinducare Foundation, a group providing livelihood and civic assistance to poor communities in Marinduque, the hometown of Aliño’s parents. (30)

PHoTO: Businessman Eduardo Jose Aliño takes his oath as SBMa Chairman and Administrator before President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the presence of his wife Ma. Stella del Pilar Aliño on Friday, Jan. 12 at Malacañang Palace.