Bataan freeport eyes expansion
MANILA, Philippines – The Authority of Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) is mulling a potential expansion as it expects to double approved investment commitments in the economic zone in the next six years.
“The expansion of the FAB will be studied to accommodate more investors and generate more jobs,” newly appointed AFAB chairman and administrator Emmanuel Pineda said.
“By 2022, we expect investments in the freeport will double, while we see the number of FAB workers will grow by 50 percent in the next three years,” he said.
Pineda, who served as deputy administrator for operations of the AFAB since 2010, was appointed as chairman and administrator by President Duterte on Oct. 10.
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With his new post, he vowed to sustain the growth of the Freeport Area of Bataan in the coming years.
“For the next six years, the AFAB will ensure that its programs, new projects and policies will be socially acceptable and will further help in making the freeport operationally viable. Sustaining the financial stability of the freeport and our locators will also become one of our top priorities,” Pineda said.
According to the official priority projects under his term will include the provision of housing for the increasing number of workers and locators in the freeport as well as its possible expansion.
“We will also work hard to make the FAB more accessible by establishing better transportation system and hopefully, by having more ports in the freeport,” he said.
AFAB expects approved investment pledges to reach P7 billion this year, up 13 percent from the previous year driven by the continued entry of manufacturing firms.
A total of 114 locators were registered in the Freeport as of December last year. These include Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese, American, Japanese, British, Bahrainese, French and German businesses.
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star)