97 Bataan freeport locators suspend operations

The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) announced on Wednesday the suspension of work and business operations of multinational firms operating at the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) here.

The suspension started Wednesday until further notice in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte after placing the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine.

Hazel Keith Elloren, FAB information officer, said the closure was arrived at during the meeting between AFAB administrator Emmanuel Pineda and locators Tuesday afternoon.

Those affected with the closure order are 97 FAB-registered companies employing more than 40,000 workers.

Elloren said Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and export-oriented enterprises that wanted to operate should coordinate with the AFAB-Incident management team and comply with certain requirements.

“In order to be permitted to continue operation, the company should have decent housing for its workers, will follow social distancing measures and to operate under a skeletal force,” she said.

Those who will violate said provisions will be slapped with temporary suspension order, Elloren said.

She said that more than one-half of the 97 firms are BPOs and export-oriented companies who were given until March 20, 2020 to comply or continue with the suspension order.

Mariveles Mayor Jocelyn Castañeda and members of the Sangguniang Bayan earlier met with some AFAB officials to discuss the order.

The mayor took note of the hardship of workers when some enterprises declared work stoppage Tuesday morning, leaving the workers in quandary in the absence of transportation.

Castañeda asked AFAB to look after the workers and said that the municipal government will dispatch some vehicles to ease their predicament.

Source: Philippines News Agency