SMC to bankroll training of OFWs, Bulacan folk for P734-B airport construction, operations
The country’s biggest conglomerate, San Miguel Corp., will train local residents as part of its job-creation program for its upcoming P734-billion Manila International Airport project, which is expected to draw thousands of workers from Bulacan and neighboring provinces, during its construction and operational phases in the next few years.
In a statement, San Miguel president Ramon Ang said Bulacan residents are being given priority for initial hiring, with emphasis on those who will be relocated from the village of Taliptip, where the 2,400-hectare airport complex will rise.
Former residents, 60 in all, are set to start their training with the the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda), which designed courses on skills specific to the needs of the airport’s construction.
“We designed these skills training program with Tesda specifically to equip Bulakeños with the necessary skills needed to either work at the airport project, put up small businesses to support airport workers, or even start on their own elsewhere if they choose to do so,” Ang said.
“Over the next couple of years, construction of this massive airport will generate hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs,” he added. “We will prioritize local residents, but there will be so many jobs and livelihood opportunities that ultimately, workers will come from all over Bulacan, Central Luzon, even Metro Manila and southern Luzon.”
The airport will be capable of handling up to 100 million passengers per year, seen to create about 30 million tourism-related jobs, and generate more than a million direct jobs for Bulacan and nearby provinces.
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing the country’s sharpest economic contraction in history, Ang said that the country’s largest conglomerate is more determined to push through with large scale infrastructure projects, such as the airport, to boost economic growth and provide employment to many Filipinos who have been rendered jobless.
“Construction activities will have an immediate economic impact on so many sectors,” he said. “These create much needed jobs that put money in people’s hands and allow them and their families to spend for their needs. This spending benefits many small and medium businesses, local eateries, sari-sari stores, groceries and service establishments.”
Apart from direct jobs, San Miguel will also spend for raw and intermediate materials, equipment or services, which then generates even more jobs and benefits more people.
“Short to medium-term, we can help so many Filipinos with jobs and help kickstart our economic recovery,” Ang said. “Long term, this airport will help create even more growth opportunities for our country.”
Aside from local residents, Ang said San Miguel will also open employment opportunities to returning expatriate Filipinos who have lost their jobs overseas due to the global economic downturn.
“A lot of overseas Filipino workers had to return to the country in recent months after they lost their jobs,” Ang said, noting the country’s large talent pool of engineers and skilled laborers.
The first batch of 60 residents are set to receive training in courses like shielded metal arc welding, electrical installation and maintenance and heavy equipment operations. Meanwhile, courses like dressmaking and cookery are also being offered to residents who want to be self-employed.
All trainees for this initial batch will be given toolkits or tools for their chosen trade. The courses take anywhere from 10 to 20 days to complete and are paid for by San Miguel. Once they complete the training programs, students will undergo the Tesda skills assessment test before they are certified.
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