San Miguel sets up livelihood center, cooperative for Bulacan residents affected by airport project 

THE SMAI Livelihood Center in Bulakan, Bulacan. — SMC PHOTO HANDOUT

SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) on Tuesday said it has launched a livelihood center and a consumer cooperative for nearly 500 Bulakan town residents affected by its P735-billion New Manila International Airport (NMIA) project.

“Through the San Miguel Aerocity, Inc. (SMAI) Livelihood Center, Bulakan citizens who used to reside at the NMIA project site can avail of training support and immediately apply the skills they’ve learned, to earn a stable income for their families at the livelihood center located in Barangay San Nicolas, Bulakan,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.  

The livelihood center project is a partnership among SMAI, the Bulacan provincial office of the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Gintong Aral Foundation.   

The cooperative and livelihood projects aim to “empower residents through training and knowledge transfer on the inner workings of a cooperative to harness the strength of collective membership and ensure a stronger enterprise with better profitability,” SMC said.  

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) recently said that land development work for the airport project is now more than 40% complete.  

The San Miguel group is expected to complete the construction of the airport by 2027. The new airport, which is expected to start operations in 2027, will be owned by the government under a build-operate-transfer program. The first phase of the airport will have a capacity of 35 million passengers annually. It is seen to generate more than one million jobs.  

“Our continuing efforts to engage residents and local officials in Bulakan has allowed us to fine-tune our existing livelihood restoration programs, as well as come up with new initiatives that will adapt to their needs,” SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said.   

“With these, we can better ensure that the economic growth that the NMIA will bring in the coming years, will be inclusive and will be felt by Bulacan residents and the rest of the country,” he added. — Arjay L. Balinbin