San Miguel Corporation ( SMC) shelled out P100-million assistance to residents displaced by its P734-billion Manila International Airport project.

Already, former settlers of Barangay Taliptip Bulakan, Bulacan have started moving into their new homes after receiving SMC’s lump-sum cash assistance.

Many others are about to complete building their homes, according to SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang.

A total of 277 owners of concrete and shanty houses in Barangay Taliptip qualified for SMC’s financial assistance.

SMC provided owners of non-concrete houses or shanties P250,000 each, while owners of concrete houses were given the appraised value of their homes, multiplied by two, plus P100,000.

Furthermore, SMC provided cash assistance to 92 other residents who were disqualified, for a total of 369 beneficiaries.

Upon the request of Malolos Bishop Dennis Villarojo, SMC distributed the P2,253,000 appraised cash value of the abandoned chapels in Sitio Pariyahan, Sitio Dapdap, Sitio Bunutan, and Sitio Capol to the 242 residents of these sitios.

Although many opted to stay in Bulacan, some former settlers moved back to their home provinces in Samar, Negros, Nueva Ecija, Sorsogon, Mindoro, Masbate, Camarines Sur, Malabon, Bataan Valenzuela, Paranaque, Dumaguete, and Albay.

SMC gave those who stayed opportunity to learn skills to qualify for jobs at the airport, or to start their own small business.

“The airport project itself will create a lot of jobs. And right now, we are prioritizing them for these jobs,” Ang explained.

The first batch of 60 former Taliptip residents are training with the Technical Skills Development Authority.

They can choose to specialize in airport jobs such as Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Electrical Installation and Maintenance and Heavy Equipment Operations.

Courses like dressmaking and cookery are also offered for those who opt to put up their own small businesses.

In addition to their chosen courses, all trainees will also be given seminars on Entrepreneurship, as well as tools to start them on their new trades.

Better yet, the courses will not be limited to Taliptip residents but will be extended to all residents of Bulacan.

“Our goal is to provide as much employment and livelihood to as many Bulakenyos as part of our commitment to the airport’s home province,” the SMC President stressed.

The airport project will be the single largest investment in the Philippines by any company.
It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction phase alone, he noted.

Ultimately, workers will also come from all over Central Luzon, Metro Manila and beyond.

By: Emmie V. Abadilla