BACOLOR -- Governor Lilia Pineda on Wednesday lauded the Angeles Industrial Park Inc. (AIPI) for providing quality and decent jobs to Kapampangans.

The governor, who visited the industrial park in Barangay Calibutbut here, was ecstatic when she learned that some 80 percent of the total workers at the AIPI are from Pampanga.

The two-term governor said she will also take advantage of the rule of the AIPI that "even high school graduates" are allowed to work at the industrial park.

"I have many in my care who are only high school graduates and now I can help them get good jobs at the AIPI," said Pineda.

Third District Board Member Rosve Henson who accompanied the provincial chief executive said, "Governor Pineda is visiting the industrial park for several reasons but one of her main purposes is to make sure the workers are not just properly compensated but are treated well."

Henson--who along with Bacolor Vice-Mayor Ananias "Jun" Canlas chief-of-staff Olga Frances David-Dizon, Third District Board Member Ferdinand Labung and his wife Calibutbut Barangay Captain Anna Marie Labung, Second District Board Member Anthony Joseph Torres, Luningning Vergara of the Pampanga-Public Employment Service Office and Maria Eliza Rey Muñoz of the Pampanga Action Center for OFW Concerns accompanied Governor Pineda in the tour-visit--disclosed that the Provincial Board will work for the renaming of the AIPI. They want it renamed after its host town, Bacolor – or Bacolor Industrial Park Inc.

"Providing jobs and livelihoods are at the menus of the governor and Vice Governor Dennis Pineda. But the main course should be quality jobs," he added.

As of June 17 this year, there are 11, 972 jobs at the AIPI, disclosed Mary Anne Castro, AIPI administrator.

"We are expected to grow in terms of employment and production. We strictly follow the rules set by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). We have no contractual jobs but only permanent status at the industrial park," said Castro, who welcomed Governor Pineda’s delegation along with AIPI Zone Manager Mario Alberto.

The AIPI, which occupies 32 hectares of land, is host to 11 local and foreign-owned manufacturing firm, said Castro. Korean, Chinese (based in Hong Kong) and American firms largely dominate the productions and employment at the AIPI.

Luxury bags, including Coach and Michael Cors, are produced at the AIPI.

The well-known bag products are done at the Superl Phils. Inc. represented by Nida Sulit. It’s the top employer at the AIPI, which has close to 7,000 workers.

Alberto, for his part, disclosed that the AIPI locators released almost P1 billion for the salaries of workers in 2014. From January to May in 2015, they already gave P500 million to their employees.

"Imagine this huge amount of money being largely spent in Pampanga. It really contributes to the local economy," said Canlas.

Barangay Captain Labung meanwhile said Calibutbut village officials and Bacolor police are working closely together to ensure the safety of the thousands of workers.

"We are making sure that the traffic on rush hours is manageable and the workers are safe from harm and eating clean food available sold near the main gate of the park," said Labung. (Joey Pavia/Contributor)