More PUVs, Better transportation system for FAB eyed

MARIVELES, Bataan – To provide better transportation assistance for the increasing number of workers in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB), the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) is working closely with the local government of Mariveles and Bataan to convince transportation firms to start operations in the industrial town.

The initiative to provide better transportation assistance program is part of the AFAB’s commitment to build a world-class freeport that meets all the needs and demands of locators. 

The discussion with the Mariveles municipal government and provincial government of Bataan about the transportation assistance program started after the AFAB reported that there were already 30,172 workers in the freeport as of August this year. The figure is 17% higher compared to the recorded 25, 803 workers in the FAB in 2015. In the first six years of operation of the FAB, freeport workers increased by 136% from only 12,777 in 2010.

“Aside from housing programs for the workers, we are also looking into developing a reliable transport system for the FAB with the help of the Mariveles and Bataan government,” said Engr. Emmanuel Pineda, AFAB Deputy Administrator for Operations.

“Mariveles Mayor Ace Jello Concepcion and the Municipal Sangguniang Bayan are helping us find transportation firms that will service night shift workers in the FAB. Hopefully, the number of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and buses running from Mariveles to the City of Balanga will double as the FAB continues to expand,” Engr. added.

The deputy administrator said the AFAB expects that the current number of workers will double in the next six years as more investors are already preparing to start their operations in the FAB. While foreign locators are expressing their interest in establishing firms in the freeport, the Philippines’ largest food conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is also set to establish a 500-hectare industrial park.

“We have to prepare for the continuous expansion of the FAB. This will also help the FAB lure more investors and convince employees, not only in Bataan but also in Central Luzon, to work in the freeport,” Engr. Pineda noted.

Meanwhile, Mayor Concepcion expressed commitment in helping the AFAB provide better transportation services.

“In the new business concept, the inclusion of dependable and reliable transport system is an important factor to achieve growth,” Mayor Concepcion said.

The municipal mayor recently conferred with the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board for the granting of permit to operate at least 10 mini-buses starting from the FAB to Balanga City.

The FAB is tagged as the emerging economic dragon of the country. It is also known as one of the fashion manufacturing hubs of the Philippines, as it possesses a budding cluster of companies producing high-end brands of garments, apparel, shoes and accessories, like bags, jewelries, among others. Its vision is to be the Freeport of choice in the country by 2020, becoming a center of trade, innovation and sustainable development in Asia and promoting work-life balance and global competitiveness.

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