In its desire to alleviate the social and economic effects of the measures taken by the National Government against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID- 19), the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), headed by its Administrator Emmanuel D. Pineda, granted financial assistance to the Municipality of Mariveles in the amount of three million pesos (PHP3M) through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The signing was held on 20 March 2020 at Mariveles, Bataan.
Since the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) over the entire region of Luzon, the operation of the FAB Registered Enterprises has been temporarily suspended. Consequently, this has posed threat to the livelihood of more than 40,000 FAB workers, most of which are residents of Mariveles. For this reason, the AFAB has decided to forego the PHP3M-budget allocated to its agency-wide activities to aid in the purchase of basic necessities, such as food, sanitary and health products and water, among others.
In his message, Admin Pineda expressed his sympathy and understanding of the plight of FAB Workers amid the public health crisis brought about by the COVID-19. He added that while the AFAB continuously supports and abides by the guidelines set by the National Government to prevent the spread of the virus, the Agency also prioritizes the FAB workers’ best interest. “Ito po ay pagpapakita ng aming sinserong pagnanais na matulungan ang bawat isa, hindi lamang sa pagsupo ng pagkalat ng virus kundi mabigyan ng daliang tugon ang pangangailangan lalo na ng ating mga FAB workers na hindi makakapasok sa trabaho”, he said.
Mariveles Municipal Mayor Atty. Jocelyn Castañeda, on the other hand, extended her gratitude for the gesture and emphasized that the financial assistance shall be primarily given to the “severely affected” members of the community, of which include the FAB workers and other low income earners displaced by the ECQ.
Signatories of the MOA include AFAB Administrator Emmanuel D. Pineda, AFAB Administrative Services Department Manager Ma. Lourdes L. Herrera, Mariveles Municipal Mayor Atty. Jocelyn Castañeda, and two other witnesses from the Mariveles Municipal Treasury.