NEWLY appointed Chairman and Administrator of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) Emmanuel Pineda vowed to sustain growth of the FAB and maintain its status as the “economic dragon of the country.”
Pineda, who was formerly designated as deputy administrator for operations of the AFAB, over the weekend said, “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.”
“I know all of you who have supported the FAB through the years will work with us as we move forward to greater challenges, enhanced partnerships and sustained growth in the FAB,” he added.
After taking his oath of office in the presence of Bataan Governor Albert Raymond Garcia, Pineda accepted the AFAB flag from outgoing Chairman and Administrator Deogracias G.P. Custodio.
“It is with much honor and humility that I officially and formally accept the chairmanship of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan. I am humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you’ve bestowed, and mindful of the sacrifices borne by our past administration,” Pineda said.
“The Authority’s top projects will also include the provision of housing for the increasing number of workers and locators in the freeport. Also, the expansion of the FAB will be studied to accommodate more investors and generate more jobs. We will also work hard to make the FAB more accessible by establishing a better transportation system and hopefully, by having more ports in the freeport,” he added.
“By 2022, we expect that the investments in the freeport will double, while we see that the number of FAB workers will grow by 50 percent in the next three years. Now that I am here, I’ll work hard with all of you to realize these goals and action plan,” Pineda noted.
The new AFAB chairman and administrator also thanked Custodio, partner government units and the FAB locators for the legacy that they worked together to create over the past six years, including the revival of the first economic zone in the country.
“Thank you, Deo. Taking the reins at this time is made easier by the groundwork you laid over the past six years. You brought our Board together to make decisions that were in the best interest of the Freeport Area of Bataan. You stayed focused on the strengths of the freeport and how it could be improved,” Pineda said.
“As I take on this new role, I would also like to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude to our governor, Albert Raymond Garcia, the ‘Father of the FAB.’ We at the AFAB and the people of Bataan are grateful to you for creating the FAB and for your unwavering determination to realize your vision for the freeport,” he said.
Pineda also expressed his gratitude for the untiring support of the FAB locators. “We are grateful that the FAB locators have believed in our administration. I personally witnessed and handled the concerns of our locators. I would like to tell all the locators that for the next six years, the Authority would still be their best partner to success,” he said.
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.