MARIVELES, Bataan: More companies were back to operations in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) after temporary suspension last March, the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) on Tuesday said.
Emmanuel Pineda, AFAB administrator, said 81 of the more than 100 enterprises had restarted their businesses.
“We are now accelerating efforts to normalize economic activity after temporary suspension of work and business operations in FAB last March,” he added.
AFAB has suspended operations of more than 100 enterprises with more than 40,000 workers because of implementation of enhanced community quarantine in the province.
Bataan is now under modified general community quarantine.
Pineda said 81 multinational firms have resumed operations.
The companies, however, are subject to regular inspection for adherence to guidelines of ensuring the health and safety of the 26,000 workers who are able to go to work every day.
Pineda said despite the pandemic, seven new enterprises were added to the list that brought the total number of registered FAB registered enterprises to 150.
A report from the AFAB Enterprise Assistance Department showed there were 40,007 workers employed in the Mariveles freeport of whom 71.6 percent were already regularized.
With efforts of speeding up normalcy in economic activity in FAB, Pineda said they will now address concerns raised by displaced and disadvantaged workers.
AFAB has entered into an agreement with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Trade to conduct livelihood training programs for displaced workers geared toward helping them with alternative sources of income.
The AFAB Labor Center was designated to complete a census of FAB workers for a demographic, social and economic characteristics database.
The census aims to gather more comprehensive data on the whole population of the freeport.
“This will enable us to identify the possible assistance and skills development to be provided to our workers,” according to Pineda.
Despite low export activities brought about by the lockdown from April to May, he said their export transactions are now back on track, with an average of 1,276 transactions from June to August this year.
“As of Aug. 31, 2020, we have recorded a total export value of US$358.4 million,” Pineda said.
He added that in terms of investments, the Bataan freeport recorded a total of P105.2 billion of actual investments from January 1 to September of this year.