Number of Bataan freeport workers surges at record high

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MARIVELES, Bataan: The number of workers at the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) here surged to a record high of nearly 34,000 as of March while locators are currently in need of 2,000 more employees.

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Emmanuel Pineda, FAB chairman and administrator, on Thursday said employment rate at the former Bataan Export Processing Zone increased from 29 percent in 2015 to 30 percent in 2017.

The freeport had 25,803 workers in 2015 with nearly 9,000 job opportunities opened from January 2016 to March 2017.

“The increase in the percentage of job generation in the freeport is due to the continuous influx of new and interested locators. Within the next three years, it is not impossible to see over 45,000 direct workers,” Pineda said.

He expected the number of workers to grow to 38,000 within the year in 136 operational locators.

The enterprises include South Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese, American, Japanese, British, Bahraini, French and German businesses.

Multinational firms currently hiring 2,000 workers are Mitsumi Phils, GN Power, Perpetual Prime Mfg, Good Sail Trading and Dong-In Group of Companies.

Pineda said FAB is considered as the fashion-manufacturing hub of the Philippines because it has a budding cluster of companies producing high-end brands of garments, apparel, shoes and accessories like bags, jewelries, among others.

“Our 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,” he added.

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