Over a hundred former Taliptip coastal residents are eyeing to become micro entrepreneurs under a program by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) that will provide them training and capital to become the company’s business partners, as community resellers of the food and beverage giant’s products.
The program is part of a host of financial, housing, skills training, and livelihood assistance given by SMC to former settlers at the future site of its P740-billion Manila International Airport project.
“As we committed to our Taliptip relocatees, our assistance to them does not stop at helping them build new concrete homes on safe ground, in land that they own. For most of the past year, we have been continuously providing them skills and livelihood training and job opportunities. This reseller program represents our next-level effort to help ensure they will have better and more sustainable income,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
Ang added that the company also continues to aggressively pursue livelihood training for all relocatees whether under its partnership with TESDA—which enables beneficiaries to work at the airport or put up small businesses to support the project–or its community training program, which aims to enhance their ability to earn from local industries such as seafood processing, among others.
“Even as we work on the bigger task at hand, which is to help bring economic development not just to Bulacan and but for our whole country, by investing in a world-class international airport and its infrastructure network, we are equally focused on making sure our communities will not be left behind, and in fact, can be empowered to be part of growth and at the same time sustainably provide for their families,” Ang said.
Under the community reseller program, SMC will provide the initial inventory of Purefoods and Magnolia frozen products, equipment to qualified relocatees, who will be formed into cooperatives with the help of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). SMC will also train relocatees in running the business.
So far, 180 relocatees have signified their interest in joining the program. A total of 48 individuals have already undergone a two-day entrepreneurship training. Succeeding batches are also set to take the same seminar.
“While capital is important in any business, it is vital to provide entrepreneurship training to our resellers, to ensure that they are successful in running and growing their small businesses. With the help of our experienced business mentors, we orient our resellers on key entrepreneurial skills they will need,” Ang said.
“We show them how to prepare their business plan, give them knowledge about financial literacy, including bookkeeping and accounting, and teach them marketing strategies. We also assist them in finding the right location in their respective communities, “he explained.
Ang cited the success of the initial community store handled by former Sitio Kinse residents at their new housing community in Barangay Bambang, also in Bulakan.
Prior to helping them put up the first community store, SMC helped former Sitio Kinse residents Teodoro Bacon, Rodel Alvarez, Primitivo Canceran, Roberto Bantigue, Jose Roger Requinto, in securing their land titles and constructing their new homes.
“While fishing remains to be the main source of income for many relocatees, expanding their income sources will allow them to live beyond a day-to-day basis. They will have the means to spend for their daily needs and more, and maybe even save some for their future,” Ang said.
“And even as we make training and livelihood opportunities available, we’re also supporting the growth of their fishing industry. That is why our community-based training program has focused on fish and meat processing, bangus fry and shrimp production, among others. The goal is to provide them as much capability to earn sustainable income,” he added.
Ang said the recent show of support for the airport project by Bulacan province’s local officials and various stakeholders has only served to strengthen its resolve to come up with more programs and projects to help the province.
“As our partners in the airport project, we are thankful that they fully understood what we are doing not just for the province, but for our country. While the airport project will do a lot to provide jobs and help our economic recovery from the pandemic, we’re essentially building for the future. We’re making sure our country and our people will be able to handle the future growth of our economy and population,” Ang said.
Recently, SMC hired an initial 12 graduates of a Heavy Equipment Operation course that is part of its SMC-TESDA training partnership program for Taliptip relocatees. They have been employed at the company’s P1 billion Tullahan-Tinajeros river system dredging project, that is seen to mitigate flooding in Navotas, Malabon, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Quezon City and even Bulacan province.
SMC provided financial assistance to 277 Taliptip families to build new houses at safer locations. Owners of non-concrete houses or shanties were given P250,000 each, while owners of concrete houses were given the appraised value of their homes, multiplied by two, plus P100,000. Cash assistance was also provided to 87 others who were disqualified, for a total of 364 beneficiaries.