Bataan, Philippines

Peninsular Bataan in the southwestern tip of Luzon Island, Philippines, is at the forefront of the country's socio-economic growth boasting robust agriculture, fishery and manufacturing sectors. Most of its coastline faces Manila Bay, the country's industrial heartland. Alongside Bataan's economic progress is the continuous degradation of coastal habitats and deterioration of marine water quality. In view of Bataan's strategic role in the environmental management of Manila Bay, government and business sectors worked together to launch the province as the first ICM Parallel Site in the region. On-going ICM activities include coastal strategy development, beach clean-ups, public awareness campaigns, mangrove rehabilitation and fish/turtle sanctuary establishment. The partnership efforts among the local governments, private sector and other stakeholders garnered them the acclaimed 2001 Anvil Award of Merit for the community-based public relations campaign "Kontra Kalat sa Dagat" (Movement Against Sea Littering).

A peninsular province, Bataan is bounded by the South China Sea on the West and by Manila Bay on the East and its strategic location brings in opportunities for the province to utilize its waterways as another gate for development. The use of waterways by passenger ferries at the Port of Orion via Manila lessens travel time and makes Bataan as one of the provinces nearest to Metro Manila.

Bataan plays a major role in the Central Luzon "W"-Growth Corridor, serving as the region's industrial heartland owing to the presence of several industries in the province, as well as tourism area due to its natural resources and historical sites (Figure 2). The province also lies within the national growth triad of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Area (SBMA), Clark Special Economic Zone, and Metro Manila. The province was identified as one of the country’s investment destinations. Moreover, the inclusion of Bataan in the Global Gateways, which is the centerpiece of development of the national government, will certainly spur the economic growth of the province (Figure 3). It promises to be the country’s next economic hub when the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP) is finally put into place. This expressway will pass through Hermosa and Dinalupihan. It is complemented by the development of Subic Seaport and the Diosdado Macapagal Airport in Clark, Pampanga.