Bataan is 2nd fastest growing province in Central Luzon
Contributed by Jose Mari M. Garcia – PIA, Bataan
BALANGA CITY, Bataan – Bataan is tagged as the second fastest growing province in Central Luzon based in the 2015 Census of Population, with its freeports producing thousands of jobs ready to meet the population spurt.
Bataan registered 1.94 percent average annual population growth rate, second to Bulacan’s 2.28 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
They are followed by Zambales (excluding Olongapo City with 1.93 percent, Nueva Ecija (1.84 percent), Pampanga (excluding Angeles City) with 1.68 percent, and Tarlac (1.35 percent). Aurora posted the lowest provincial population growth rate of 1.21 percent.
With Bataan’s population growth, the provincial government has amplified support and partnership with the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to match the spurt with jobs.
Governor Albert Garcia said these two freeports form part of the province’s economic engines that provide millions in revenues and thousands of employment opportunities.
The foreign investment projects approved by AFAB and SBMA, together with other investment promotion agencies of the country, are seen to generate 53,159 jobs in the first quarter of 2016.
PSA said this is more than double compared to the 23,932 jobs expected in the same period in 2015. “Projected employment from AFAB and SBMA grew by 211.6 percent and 396.6 percent, respectively,” PSA said in a statement.
This developed as other investment promotion agencies suffered declines in projected employment like the nearby Clark Development Corporation and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority with a decrease of 15.3 percent and 59.2 percent, respectively.
Constructively, the total foreign investments approved in the first quarter of 2016 amounted to PhP26 billion, up by 19.2 percent compared to PhP21.8 billion approved in the same period last year.