Atty. Wilma “Amy” T. Eisma is a seasoned lawyer with over 23 years of experience in both government service and the private sector.
She is much at home in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. As a young lawyer, she started her career as the Executive Assistant to the Chairman and member of the Legal Department during the Agency’s early years (1993 to 1998). During her tenure, she assisted in the efficient administration and supervision of SBMA, including policy-making and issues and crisis management. She was a member of the Agency team that successfully negotiated the World Bank’s assistance, as well as the entry/investment of Federal Express and various international and local investors, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs. Furthermore, she represented SBMA in local judicial courts and oversaw the SBMA Housing Department.
Before joining the private sector, she continued her public career as Head Executive Assistant and Legal Counsel to the House of Representative’s Majority Floor Leader from 1998 to 2000, and thereafter, as Chief of Staff of the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry for a year.
A member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Atty. Eisma holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence, Ateneo De Manila University, College of Law. She was also a member of the Philippine Delegation, 1989 UNIV Forum in Rome, Italy.
Prior to her appointment as SBMA Chairman and Administrator, she was the corporate, government and regulatory affairs, community and farmer relations, and diversity and inclusion manager of the Philippine affiliate of Philip Morris International (PMI), PMFTC, Inc. and Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (PMPMI) for 15 years. Her close and smooth work with the local leaf supply chain of PMI resulted to internationally-acclaimed farmer programs, best practice systems, and leading innovations in agriculture labor relations, communication programs, and government relation strategies in the supply chain setting.
She successfully managed over three million dollars in contributions and community relations and farmer relations budget annually. She also handled and coordinated with NGO and government partners in the implementation of PMI projects. Moreover, she provided direction, supervision, and management of the company’s public affairs and contribution programs, the majority of which received various international awards in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Her knowledge in government processes, culture, and engagement brought about the enactment of the Philippine Tobacco Regulatory Act of 2003 and the Amendment to the Excise Law in 2005 and 2012.
In 2005, as Manager for Government Relations, she received the PMI President’s Award. Her work also earned her the PMI Excellence Award in 2003, 2007, and 2011. She was recognized in 2009 as an awardee of the PMI Best Contribution Program, and in 2010, the PMI Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award.
Today, her job is more daunting than when she first volunteered at the SBMA straight out of college almost two decades ago. For it entails the management of assets within the 67,452-hectare free port, coordination of some 1,500 business locators and other stakeholders that have put up about $10-Billion worth of investments within the zone, as well as supervision of the 2,700-strong SBMA organization that was mandated by law to grow the Subic Bay Freeport into a sustainable center for investment, trade and tourism.
But she not only managed to turn out well — she did so with flying colors. In her first year as Chairman and CEO of the SBMA, she steered the Subic agency into a better financial position, leveraging the newfound goodwill with investors and other stakeholders into advantage. By the end of 2017, the SBMA reported a 60% increase in new investments, 203% increase in committed investments for expansion projects, 4% increase in total revenue, 11% growth in Customs collection, 0.8% rise in tax collection, 38% increase in exports, and 11% growth in imports.
And then last year, she did even better: 12% increase in revenue, from P3.08 billion to P3.45 billion, the highest ever recorded in history of the SBMA; 60% increase in net income, from P907.9 million to P1.45 billion, the highest in history and also the first time to breach the P1-billion mark; 18.98% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization from P1.55 billion to P1.84 billion, the biggest ever recorded in history; 21.7% increase in tax collections, customs duties, and government dividends from P19.9 billion to P25.3 billion; 37.48% in export value from $1.83 billion to $2.52 billion; 3.65% increase in import value from $1.77 billion to $1.83 billion; 4.86% increase in seaport revenue from P1.17 billion to P1.23 billion; 8.11% increase in visitor arrivals in Subic from 8.53 million to 9.22 million; and 2.22% increase in tourist arrivals in Subic from 1.68 million to 1.72 million.
But more than just drawing out outstanding financial performance two years in a row, she succeeded in re-introducing and promoting the culture of “Malasakit” in the Subic Bay Freeport. “Malasakit” is a Filipino value that emphasizes voluntary action for the common good and a deep concern for the community. Bringing this up not only enabled the SBMA to call for community participation in SBMA projects; it also facilitated the implementation of various initiatives by the Subic agency because, perhaps for the first time, the SBMA CEO was seen as a compassionate leader whose steely resolve to pump up trade in the Subic area was tempered with a caring character.
These accomplishments have made her a modern-day hero not only in the eyes of the stakeholders in Subic Bay Freeport and Olongapo City, but also in the judgment of all Filipinos worldwide, as well as international award-giving bodies, who learn of the continuing success story of the Subic Bay Freeport. For this, she received the following awards:
• JCI “Pinay Power” Award from the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines on July 21, 2018 for “efforts to provide economic development to the community and to help others succeed in business”;
• Award in International Public Service, given during the Chicago Filipino Asian-American Hall of Fame Awards on Nov. 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois; and
• Silver Stevie Award for “Female Executive of the Year” in a government or non-profit organization category, given during the 15th annual Stevie Awards on Nov. 16, 2018 in New York City.
On June 7, 2019 during the Philippines Leadership Awards 2019 organized by the World CSR Day at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Manila:
• “Woman Leadership Award” from the World Women Leadership Congress; and the
• “CSR Leadership Award” from World CSR Day, a corporate social responsibility network which recognizes individuals and groups that help create a healthy CSR ecosystem.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Atty. Amy Eisma came fully equipped as a woman leader with the vision and capability to propel Subic Bay Freeport as a globally-competitive economic growth center.