MARIVELES, Bataan – Newly appointed Chairman and Administrator of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) Engr. Emmanuel D. Pineda formally took over the rein of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) in a recent turnover ceremony held at the Bataan Convention Center by The Oriental.
After taking oath in the presence of Bataan Governor Albert Raymond S. Garcia, Chairman Pineda accepted the AFAB flag from outgoing Chairman and Administrator Atty. Deogracias G.P. Custodio.
“It is with much honor and humility that I officially and formally accept the chairmanship of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan. I am humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you’ve bestowed, and mindful of the sacrifices borne by our past administration,” Chairman Pineda said.
“I know all of you, who have supported the FAB through the years, will work with us as we move forward to greater challenges, enhanced partnerships and sustained growth in the FAB,” he added.
Upon accepting his new post, Chairman Pineda, who was formerly designated as deputy administrator for operations of the AFAB, vowed to sustain the growth of the FAB and maintain its status as the economic dragon of the country.
“For the next six years, the AFAB will ensure that its programs, new projects and policies will be socially acceptable and will further help in making the Freeport operationally viable. Sustaining the financial stability of the freeport and our locators will also become one of our top priorities,” Chairman Pineda noted.
“The Authority’s top projects will also include the provision of housing for the increasing number of workers and locators in the freeport. Also, the expansion of the FAB will be studied to accommodate more investors and generate more jobs.
We will also work hard to make the FAB more accessible by establishing better transportation system and hopefully, by having more ports in the freeport,” he added.
“By 2022, we expect that the investments in the freeport will double, while we see that the number of FAB workers will grow by 50% in the next three years. Now that I am here, I’ll work hard with all of you to realize these goals and action plan,” Chairman Pineda noted.
The new AFAB chairman and administrator also thanked former Chairman Atty. Custodio, partner government units and the FAB locators for the legacy that they worked together over the past six years, including the revival of the first economic zone in the country.
“Thank you, Deo. Taking the reins at this time is made easier by the groundwork you laid over the past six years. You brought our Board together to make decisions that were in the best interest of the Freeport Area of Bataan. You stayed focused on the strengths of the freeport and how it could be improved,” Chairman Pineda told outgoing Chairman Custodio.
“As I take on this new role, I would also like to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude to our governor, Albert Raymond Garcia, the “Father of the FAB”. We at the AFAB and the people of Bataan are grateful to you for creating the FAB and for your unwavering determination to realize your vision for the freeport,” he said.
Chairman Pineda also expressed his gratitude for the untiring support of the FAB locators. “We are grateful that the FAB locators have believed in our administration. I personally witnessed and handled the concerns of our locators. I would like to tell all the locators that for the next six years, the Authority would still be their best partner to success,” he said.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Chairman Pineda on October 10, 2016. He formally assumed the post right after his oath taking and formal turnover ceremony late October. He was hired as the deputy administrator for operations of the AFAB in August 2010, the year when the FAB was established through Republict Act 9728. Before that, he served as the Engineering Manager,and Economic Zone Manager of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
The AFAB Operations Group, under his leadership, has effectively delivered necessary infrastructure projects and labor force training and recruitment, among others, which were instrumental to the attraction of new foreign investments in the freeport. His leadership also paved the way for the increase of employment in the FAB from 11,000 in 2010 to 31, 121 in September 2016, resulting to the FAB being the fastest growing freeport of the country in terms of job generation for the past four years.
The FAB is tagged as the emerging economic dragon of the country. It is also known as one of the fashion manufacturing hubs of the Philippines, as it possesses a budding cluster of companies producing high-end brands of garments, apparel, shoes and accessories, like bags, jewelries, among others.
Its vision is to be the Freeport of choice in the country by 2020, becoming a center of trade, innovation and sustainable development in Asia and promoting work-life balance and global competitiveness.