The province of Bataan was awarded Most Business-Friendly Province in the 47th Philippine Business Conference mounted annually by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) giving citation to local government units that have been “successfully restoring and increasing business operations in their area through significant and sustained innovative actions amidst the extreme challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Bataan was first cited by PCCI for the same award in 2018 where Gov. Albert Garcia received the Most Business-Friendly Province award from President Duterte during the event held at the Manila Hotel.
Gov. Garcia said of the award, “this is a great encouragement to us especially during these challenging times of the pandemic. We are grateful for the recognition. COVID-19 also acted as an impetus for us to create and build on our strongest resources. In turn, we have become more united and persevering towards one goal, to pursue a better quality of life for every Bataeno. This is the vision behind 1Bataan.”
The 47th Philippine Business Conference theme is anchored on innovation while the 2021 LGU awards initiative “highlights LGU success stories and best practices that go beyond mere compliance to address the overwhelming negative impacts of the current pandemic to the business community.”
Among the noteworthy endeavors of Bataan were the setting up of 29 vaccination sites in the different towns and lone city in the province and the mobilization of the Vax on Wheels (VOX) which brings the vaccine closer to the people who have no means to go to any vaccination site for reasons of sickness, distance or work schedule. As a result, Bataan stands as one of the few provinces outside of the National Capital Region (NCR) to have registered the most number of fully-vaccinated residents.
The province has been making its mark across meaningful indices by registering steady economic growth, declining poverty incidence, low inflation, and high savings rate elevating the quality of life of every Bataeno. Proof of this was the Seal of Good Local Governance awarded to the province for four consecutive years.
And even during the pandemic, locators from the Freeport Area of Bataan have registered increased investment opportunities while major infrastructure projects commenced in the different municipalities as part of the enactment of Republic Act 11453 or the FAB Expansion Act. On the local business front, there was an increasing trend of business registration as establishments ably adapted to new normal business practices.