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Bataan freeport workers hit record high

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MARIVELES, Bataan — The Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) here recorded a new high in terms of the number of direct workers projected to reach 46,000 by the end of this year, chairman Emmanuel Pineda reported Friday.

He said that as of October 2019, the number of workers grew to 45,020 compared to 12,777 when FAB took over from the Bataan Economic Zone in 2010.

FAB was formerly the Bataan Export Processing Zone, the first export zone established in the country in the 1970s.

“We are proud of the rate of regularization in employment going on in FAB enterprises. From about 5,000 regular workers in 2010, there are now 26,760 regulars or 57 percent of the present total number of workers,” Pineda said.

“Each and every one of these workers is a crucial part of FAB’s success. I have no doubt in my heart that the success that the freeport has attained and will continue to attain is due largely to our hard-working manpower,” he added.

Record showed that 73.7 percent of the workers reside in Mariveles while the rest from either the other towns of Bataan at 14.07 percent or 12.2 percent from outside the province.

The number of workers considerably increased with the number of enterprises operating in FAB presently registering at 141 from only 39 multinational firms left in the zone almost 10 years ago, Pineda said.

Of the present registered enterprises, 57 are Filipino-owned, 11 Korean, 8 British while the rest are Chinese, Japanese, American, German, Taiwanese, Bahraini, French, Polish, Sri Lankan and Pakistani.

They are into manufacturing, information and communication, wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food service, estate development and management, power generation and utilities.

Others are in administrative and support activities; arts, entertainment and recreation; tourism and health; and social work activities.

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