PILAR, Bataan – More than P4 billion in investment is ready to flow in this historic town under an expansion program of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB), Mayor Carlos Pizarro, Jr. announced Tuesday.
Clearing has started in the three seaside villages here where the project, tentatively named Bataan New Container Port City, will rise in 500 hectares of land adjacent to Manila Bay, the mayor said. Construction would immediately follow, in time for the completion and operation of the project in four years.
Pizarro said he has asked the developer of the projectnot to cause dislocation in any barangay and save the mangroves. He asked that the name of the developer/investor be not identified yet.
To be built in the Pilar economic zone are a golf course, Escolta Heritage Building, Giethoorn Village(like in The Netherlands), aviary, forest park, executive village, amusement and theme park, Marina Hotel & Restaurant/Plaza, Marina Bay, light industrial eco-park, medium industrial eco-park and pier/port area and workshop and warehouse in the reclaimed area.
Pizarro said the proponent wrote FAB of an urgent desire to put up an economic zone outside Mariveles and sought for their approval. The municipality and the barangays concerned expressed “no objection” the mayor said.
President Duterte signed into law last August 30, 2019 a bill principally authored by Bataan 2nd District Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III expanding the Bataan freeport territory from Mariveles to all the other 10 towns and one city in the province.
FAB in Mariveles has more than 45,000 workers in 141 multinational firms as of December 31, 2019.
“The project will create thousands of jobs for Pilar and greatly increase our revenues,” the mayor said, thanking the private investor for the choice of Pilar.
Pizarro said members of the sangguniang bayan and the whole municipal government, as well as Gov. Albert Garcia and Congressman Garcia, were all ecstatic of the project
Pilar is the site of the Dambana ng Kagitingan or Shrine of Valor atop Mt. Samat where heavy fighting between Filipino–American and Japanese forces took place before Bataan fell on April 9, 1942.
It is the town next to Balanga City and about 40 kilometers from Mariveles.