Adventures and Sports
Zero Philippine Carmageddon: Tax-Free & Traffic-Free Subic Bay
Choose Philippines | Sep 15, 2015
Facing the Zambales Mountain Range to the west and the Subic Bay opening to the West Philippine sea is the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (or Subic Bay). It is surrounded by the municipalities of Subic and Olongapo City in Zambales and Hermosa and Morong in Bataan.
During the Spanish regime, Subic Bay was established as an arsenal and ship-repair facility. The site eventually became the largest US military facility outside the United States and was called the Subic Bay Naval Base after the Spanish-American War. Renewal of the lease of the base was rejected in early 1991 and the site suffered damages caused by the Mt. Pinatubo's eruption.
Despite the calamity, Subic Bay Freeport Zone has risen to become the Philippines' first succesful case of a military base converted into a tax- and duty-free zone. It is also a popular weekend getaway for families and group of friends because of its many theme parks, resorts, and restaurants.
The Freeport is known to have strict rules on its roads, which is why it has become a traffic jam-free zone. Its administrators boast of its world-class traffic management system and relentless pursuit of traffic discipline.
Unlike in most parts of Metro Manila where traffic rules are usually bent by high-ranking officials or people who can pay traffic officers with cash, errant motorists in Subic Bay are apprehended immediately. It should be noted, however, that there aren't as many officers plying the roads but still, the traffic rules are dutifully obeyed.
Some of Subic Bay's general traffic rules that are observed by everyone entering the zone are:
- Make a full stop at intersections with stop sign or flashing red light or solid white line painted across the road. A full stop means a complete cessation of movement, not a rolling stop.
- Yield to vehicle traveling a road with a right of way and those which have approached the intersection first.
- Observe proper lane usage and speed limits, and give the proper signal to other motorists.
- Load and unload at designated areas only.
These rules are not unique to Subic Bay and yet they aren't observed outside the Freeport Zone, which causes a number of accidents and eventual traffic jams.
What other places in the Philippines are traffic-free, share it with us!