‘Down-to-earth’ SBMA chair ‘stomps’ approval of P220-M Isuzu dealership

By Tessa R. Salazar Philippine Daily Inquirer August 11,2019

From left: Jeffrey Hao Lin (Chairman and Treasurer, Velocity Motor Sales Corporation), lawyer Wilma “Amy” Eisma (Chairperson and Administrator, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority), Jason Hao (President, Velocity Motor Sales Corporation), Hajime Koso (President, Isuzu Philippines Corporation), Joseph Bautista (Division Head for Sales, Isuzu Philippines Corporation), Renato Lee III (Senior Deputy Administrator for Business & Investment, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority).

In a business environment where one expects formalities both in behavior and attire, a young and feisty female career professional thought nothing of removing her ill-advised high-heeled shoes to walk barefoot among her barong-clad male counterparts during a groundbreaking ceremony for Isuzu Philippines Corp’s first dealership at Subic Gateway at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone last July 26.

When laywer Wilma “Amy” T. Eisma, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chair and administrator, was called to the podium to convey her message, she removed her pumps and walked barefoot on the sandy grounds of the 3,800 sqm empty lot. Later on, she told this writer that she insisted on wearing more appropriate rubber shoes for the occasion, but an overzealous staff brought high-heeled shoes instead.

“My staffer reasoned out that I still had to look fabulous while shoveling dirt,” she laughed.

Of course, a no-nonsense Eisma, a protege of former SBMA Chair and now Senator Richard Gordon–himself a go-getter of a leader–would have none of that.


Lawyer Wilma “Amy” Eisma (Chairperson and Administrator, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority)

While her fellow SBMA officers, IPC executives and Velocity Motors Sales Corp representatives were gathered for the ceremonial rolling of the blueprint into the time capsule, Eisma reminded everyone involved in the planning and construction of Isuzu Subic to save whatever trees that could be saved in the area. “You can probably let go of the ipil-ipil because they are fast-growing trees. But the others, like the mango trees, are hard to grow.”

Of the soon-to-rise Isuzu Subic dealership, Eisma says, “The important signal for me is the confidence that IPC and Velocity Motors are willing to invest in Subic. For them to put in close to P220 million here, when they know we’re very close to Pampanga and Bataan, that only shows how crucial Subic is in this area,” Eisma told Inquirer Motoring.

She added: “It also shows that aside from their confidence in Subic, it’s their confidence also in the market surrounding Subic. This is very crucial in the sense that it also addresses the strategy to decongest Manila and the other city centers.”

Eisma said that “malasakit” — the “caring” trait of the citizens of Subic — has become a “way of life”, and that’s what sets the business environment in SBMA apart. “Here, we follow traffic rules even when the police are not looking. We pick up trash whenever we see it. We do what’s needed to be done, even without reward. That’s malasakit.”

For IPC, Eisma’s call for “malasakit” fits very well with its corporate philosophy of being “Your Responsible Partner.”

In partnership with Velocity Motor Sales Corp, which will build and oversee operations of Isuzu Subic, IPC sees the dealership as poised to become an automotive and transport solution hub in the region.

Dealer Isuzu Subic is owned by Velocity Motor Sales Corporation of Jeffrey Hao and Jason Hao. The site is at Block 3 Former Marshalling Yard, Subic Gateway, Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The 3,800 sqm lot will have a showroom size of 520 sqm. Alloted are seven slots of light commercial vehicle (LCV) bays, and two for commercial vehicle (CV) bays. The soft opening is slated in December 2019, while the grand opening is planned in early 2020.


Isuzu PH president Hajime Koso

“This new dealership at Subic marks an exciting next chapter both for IPC and for the motorists in Subic and nearby areas. We are engaged in a number of powerful partnerships that made the arrival of this moment possible, and we are proud to build a dealership that will cater the Subic community,” IPC president Hajime Koso told the audience.

Velocity Motor Sales Corp executives Jeffrey Hao Lin (chairman and treasurer) and Jason Hao (president) also spoke at the groundbreaking. Other IPC officials led by Joseph Bautista (IPC division head for Sales) and SBMA officers led by Renato Lee III (Senior Deputy Administrator for Business & Investment), lawyer Ramon O. Agregado (Deputy Administrator for Support Services, Rolando E. Ampunin (Director), Marvin Ted R. Macapagal, (Director), and other associates and members of the media were present at the groundbreaking.

Subic is positioned to become among the most competitive international services and logistic centers in Southeast Asia, leading to be one of the country’s major economic engines receiving numerous investment projects. With these opportunities, Isuzu Subic, once built, is expected to fulfill its vision of becoming an automotive and transport solution hub. With a total land area of close to 3,800 sqm, its showroom will be able to display four vehicles, while the service area can accommodate seven light commercial vehicles and two trucks in its service bays, ready to cater to the fast-growing province of Zambales.

IPC, in a press statement, said that it is important for the Japanese auto company “to continuously provide transport solutions to Filipinos, and the expansion of dealerships is just one way for Isuzu to offer and provide quality products and excellent aftersales service that will give the customers the edge they need to be successful in their businesses and personal needs.”

IPC currently has 43 dealerships nationwide. Log on to www.isuzuphil.com for the dealerships nearest you.

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