Self-sustaining model community rising in Quezon province
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is building in Sariaya town in Quezon province a P352-million sustainable mass housing community for families that have been uprooted from risky coastal areas.
The new community, which is now nearing completion, will be in the same area where SMC’s integrated agro-industrial complex will be built as part of efforts to generate jobs and help the economy “build back better and stronger” from the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
SMC is set to build a modern, state-of-the-art integrated agro-industrial complex in Sariaya that will include a brewery, grains terminal and feed mill, a ready-to-eat food manufacturing plant, fuel tank farm and port facilities. This complex is expected to generate jobs in Quezon and nearby provinces.
A total of 127 families had relocated to SMC’s 5.4-hectare San Miguel-Christian Gayeta Homes. More families are expected to move to the subdivision in the coming weeks.
Apart from the 450-unit housing complex, SMC also built the Sariaya Fisherman’s Dock and the San Miguel Market to provide a source of livelihood for the relocated facilities and develop resilience in the face of challenges.
“We are building a community where people will have access to jobs and services and have the opportunity to make a difference. It’s a place that will stand the test of time, one where people of this and the future generation will want to live and work,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said.
“This housing community that includes the Fisherman’s Dock and the San Miguel Market is an integral part of our investment in Sariaya, Quezon. With our extensive experience in high-quality housing developments, we have designed a safe space that allows members of the community to sustainably farm and fish, and also provide them additional training so that they help us build our facilities in Sariaya together,” Ang added.
Construction of the 450-unit housing community started in April 2019 and was formally turned over to SMC last Nov. 25. Each housing unit in the community, built under Housing Land Use Regulatory Board standards, has a lot area of 54 square meters that can fit a bedroom, toilet and bathroom, kitchen, dining area and loft capability.
The community has an overhead water tank with a 136,000-liter capacity, a dedicated sewage treatment plant made of natural reed beds, a multipurpose hall, park, daycare center, livelihood center, e-library and a clubhouse consisting of covered basketball court, multipurpose hall and playground garden.
“These houses were tested during the last two typhoons and withstood the strong winds and heavy rains. During the height of these typhoons, many families whose houses were destroyed by the typhoons even requested to transfer immediately so they can finally reside in a community that is safe, secure and where they are being attended to with the company’s trademark ‘malasakit,’” he said.
Ang added that the houses in San Miguel-Christian Gayeta Homes would be “earthquake-proof, termite-proof, sound and heat-insulated, wind-proof and environment-friendly” as they used “green tough” panels, designed and manufactured by Fadz Design and Construction.
Currently under construction is San Miguel Market, where fishermen can sell their fresh catch and where other residents, particularly those who graduated from the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) livelihood and training courses, can offer services and products.
Ang said the establishment of San Miguel Market would complement the Sariaya Fishermen’s Dock, which SMC inaugurated recently with the local government of Sariaya and the Diocese of Lucena.
The multipurpose Fishermen’s Dock, sitting on a 3.5-hectare property, aims to increase the resilience of fishing communities as it can host more than 100 boats, particularly during the typhoon season. Sariaya Fisherman’s Hall, on the other hand, can serve as a rest area and storage for 70 boat engines and other fishing implement.
Recently, an initial batch of 50 trainees from San Miguel-Christian Gayeta Homes completed their Tesda skills training in organic/urban farming/edible landscaping and fish/meat processing.
To support organic agriculture, SMC provided a 1,000-sqm plot in the housing community where they can plant and regularly harvest vegetables for personal consumption and for sale.
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