Bataan puts up command center for APEC meetings this week

MANILA – It may have come over a month too late for the ‘Fall of Bataan’, but the provincial government’s first modern security facility will be crucial for another kind of war: the battle for the hearts, minds and pockets of investors drawn to the Philippines’ hosting of this year’s APEC Summit.

After Manila, Clark, Tagaytay, Bacolod and Boracay, its now Bagac, Bataan’s turn to play host to one of several rounds of pre-summit meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. And to ensure all goes according to plan, the Bataan provincial government is inaugurating tomorrow the 1Bataan Command Center.

The P180-million facility will help enhance security for Bataan’s hosting of back-to-back APEC meetings, including the “Workshop on Fiscal Management through Transparency and Reforms” (June 9-10), and the “Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting” (June 11-12). APEC delegates will gather at Bagac’s heritage park and hotel, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.

The Bataan Police Provincial Office, Metro Bataan Development Authority (MBDA) and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) will man the command center.

“We are opening our command center on Monday. Its first agenda will be the monitoring of the APEC event in Bagac, Bataan. There will be a lot of CCTV cameras [linked to the command center] and patrol vehicles,” Governor Albert Garcia said in a statement issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Investor Relations Office (IRO).

The command center will control between 60 and 70 CCTV cameras installed along Bataan’s road network, mostly leading to Bagac.

After the APEC meetings, the command center will be used to manage big data and to provide analytics, which can be used by authorities to organize rescue operations and for rehabilitation efforts in the province in case of disasters.

Situated in Central Luzon, Bataan is home to economic zones such as the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB), Hermosa Ecozone Industrial Park (HEIP), Morong Ecozone Inc., DND Arsenal, and the Bataan Technological Park Inc.

Among the companies that operate in the province are Petron Corporation, Luenthai, Orica, Dunlop Slazenger Phils. Inc., Unioil, Mitsumi Philippines and PNOC Alternative Fuels Corporation.

Besides its industrial zone, the province also boasts of pristine beaches, nature parks, and historical markers, such as the famous ‘Fall of Bataan’ trail.

To welcome the APEC delegates, the Bataan provincial government will host a reception dinner on June 10.  El Gamma Penumbra, the shadow play dance group and Asia’s Got Talent’s grand winner, will be performing along with other artists. Delegates will also have a walking tour around Las Casas to experience Filipino history, heritage, and craftsmanship.

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