The below article is from the Manila Standard Newspaper and while the article is mostly true there are a few glaring mistakes. The "passenger crew ship" referenced in the article is actually LPD-6 the USS Bonhomme Richard. This ship is a Wasp class Amphibious Assault ship. Last the Bugle heard they US Navy wasn't in the passenger business. Secondly I know of quite a few Hotel/Bar/Restaurant owners that will vouch that the military presence has helped thier bottom line immeasurably, especially now that we are in the slow season over here. Maybe the reason that they aren't spending thier dollars on the base has to do with the outragous prices that most places on the Freeport charge.
The Subic Bay Freeport will host a 10-day joint military exercises between the United States Navy and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on the second week of October, according to Freeport sources.
The passenger crew ship, USS Bonhomme Richards, which will bring the US personnel to the port, will dock at Subic Bay on the first week of October and will be the fifth US Naval assets to make use of the port facilities of Subic Bay under the non-revenue privileges granted by the Visiting Forces Agreement between the United States and the Philippines.
Although there is an increasing visit of US Navy vessels here, the state owned Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, which is beset with financial debts, does not benefit from these visits.
This is in stark contrast in Singapore, where the Singapore Port Authority charge foreign government vessels commercial rates for the use of their port facilities.
The military war games and humanitarian assistance and disaster response project will be carried out in Palawan, Zambales and Tarlac provinces.
The exercise will kick off on October 8 at this former US Naval complex and will end October 18.
More than 3,000 military personnel from the US Navy and Philippine Navy, Air force and the Army will take part in the annual exercises dubbed as Phiblex.
Participants will undergo amphibious landing maneuvers and artillery training crewmanship at the Crow Valley in Tarlac.
Since May, the Port of Subic had played host to four US Navy vessels, three Virginia class attach submarines and L-Y Spear-class submarine tender since Washington said it planned to increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific last January.
The first US vessel to dock since the start of the year was the USS North Carolina, followed by the USS Louisville, a nuclear-powered submarine.
The USS Frank Cable, an LY spear-class tender came next and was followed by another sub, the USS Hawaii.
While the US embassy in Manila termed the visit of US military assets as “highlights of the strong historic community and military connection between the US and the Philippines,” the local economy of the Freeport has not generated from their presence.
Moreover, contrary to the claim of Olongapo City Mayor James L. Gordon Jr., that the visits of US ships boost the local economy, servicemen on board the submarines were not “big spenders,” according to Freeport business operators.
The servicemen reportedly spend their rest days strolling within the confines of the Freeport and do not patronize even the entertainment places inside.