Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

PILAR, Bataan – More than PHP4 billion of investment is ready to flow into this historic town under an expansion program of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB).

Mayor Carlos Pizarro Jr. on Tuesday said clearing has started in the three seaside villages here where the project, tentatively named Bataan New Container Port City, will rise in a 500-hectare land adjacent to Manila Bay.

Soon groundworks, he said, will begin in time for the completion and operation of the project to be finished in four years.

Pizarro said he has asked the well-known developer of the project not to cause dislocation in any barangay and save the mangroves. He requested that the developer/investor not be named yet.

To be built in the Pilar economic zone are a golf course, Escolta Heritage Building, Giethoorn Village (like in The Netherlands), aviary, forest park, executive village, amusement and theme park, Marina Hotel & Restaurant/Plaza, Marina Bay, light industrial eco-park, medium industrial eco-park, pier/port area, and workshop and warehouse in the reclaimed area.

Pizarro said the proponent wrote FAB of an urgent desire to put up an economic zone outside Mariveles and sought for their approval.

The municipality and the barangays concerned gave their nod, the mayor said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on August 30, 2019, a bill principally authored by Bataan’s 2nd District Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III, expanding the Bataan freeport territory from Mariveles to all the other 10 towns and one city in the province.

FAB in Mariveles has more than 45,000 workers in 141 multinational firms as of December 31, 2019.

“The project will create thousands of jobs for Pilar and greatly increase our revenues,” the mayor said, thanking the private investor for choosing his town.

Pizarro said members of the Sangguniang Bayan and the whole municipal government, as well as Gov. Albert Garcia and Rep. Garcia, were all ecstatic about the project.

Pilar is the site of the Dambana ng Kagitingan or Shrine of Valor atop Mt. Samat where heavy fighting between Filipino and American soldiers against Japanese forces took place before Bataan fell on April 9, 1942.

It is the town next to Balanga City and about 40 kilometers from Mariveles. (ia/

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