Mohammed Hussein P. Pangandaman is off to a strong start as the new Administrator of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), as his efforts are already bearing fruit within the first few months of his appointment. The Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) is certainly being held in the capable hands of a trailblazer and business strategist.

Appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. last April 28, 2023, Administrator Pangandaman’s assumption of office started strong in the arena of establishing deeper ties with all of the agency’s stakeholders. Aiming to enhance the stakeholder experience, Administrator Pangandaman has consistently demonstrated vigor in striking the ideal balance between managing the FAB’s unstoppable economic growth and delivering quality public service to the community it ultimately serves.

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In his first public address, Administrator Pangandaman outlined the two major areas of effort under his leadership: the leveling up of the stakeholder experience and the alignment of agency operations with intensified responsiveness to R.A. 9728, otherwise known as The Freeport Area of Bataan Act of 2009, as amended by R.A. 11453. He also extended his deep appreciation and utmost respect to the whole of FAB and acknowledged his new role—to build on the FAB’s accomplishments over the past decade while striving to do better and more. “AFAB has been doing well, contributing to the national coffers and providing jobs and opportunities for growth, and it has a team in place that is certainly competent,” he added.

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The Administrator wasted no time in setting the table for open discussions on business development, policymaking, and sustainability with the FAB registered enterprises, local and provincial government leaders, and civic organizations. One by one, he addressed pressing concerns, laying out a carefully planned and collective action, demonstrating his ability to lead and determination to get things done.

Administrator Pangandaman sticks with his proactive approach to business development within the FAB, as well as his grassroots approach to understanding the intricacies of each company’s operations, challenges, and potential for growth. By cultivating closer ties with registered businesses in the FAB, he hopes to stimulate further economic development, attract investments, and generate local employment opportunities.

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With sustainability in mind, Administrator Pangandaman intends to position the FAB as a strategic center for trade and investment. Chasing collaborative opportunities to attain such a vision, one of his notable dealings was with the venture capital firm Plug-and-Play. Initial talks happened during the Asia-Pacific Summit in Singapore in June 2023, a gathering of technology startups from the region. The Administrator works alongside Bataan 2nd District Representative Albert S. Garcia to actively promote FAB as an ideal location for putting up new and emerging industries, particularly digital-based enterprises.

With these developments, the AFAB is now getting a step closer to its giant leap toward opening the FAB to rapid innovation brought by locators coming from all over the world.

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