San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has launched its free livelihood and skills training program for Bulacan residents in cooperation with the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA).
This is in preparation for the construction of the diversified conglomerate’s P734 billion Manila International Airport in Bulakan, Bulacan.
SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said the massive training program that is open for all Bulacan residents is part of SMC’s job creation initiative.
This is aimed at helping Filipinos adapt to changing demands and benefit from opportunities that will emerge with the construction of the airport project in Bulacan.
“This airport project will be a game-changer, not only in terms of its effect on the economy of Bulacan and the entire Philippines. More importantly, this will change the lives of Bulacan residents even beyond the pandemic. These courses are for free and open to all residents of Bulacan who are willing to learn,” Ang said.
He added that, “By helping them develop new skills, we equip communities with the means to become resilient to rapid changes and future needs and empower them to be able to transform their lives for the better. We also want to make sure that the benefits of this project are shared equitably among our kababayans.”
SMC will pay for the tuition, assessment, trainor’s honoraria, meals, insurance, and transportation allowance of the initial participants, who are all former Barangay Taliptip residents.
The pilot batch consists of 60 participants will undergo 20 days of training in their chosen courses and 3 days of entrepreneurship training.
Those who will opt for self-employment and set up their own business will be given toolkits like welding machines, sewing machines, and other equipment.
Courses include shielded metal arc welding, electrical installation and maintenance, and heavy equipment operations. Meanwhile, courses such as dressmaking and cookery are offered for residents who want to be self-employed.
“We are inviting everyone to learn any of the TESDA courses being offered so they can be prepared for present and future opportunities. After our initial batch of 60 individuals, we will immediately expand the program to include all residents of Bulacan subject to government’s health protocols that include wearing of protective equipment and physical distancing,” Ang said.
He said the airport project will also benefit many residents from provinces in Central Luzon as well as those Overseas Filipino Workers who had to return to the country in droves due to uncertain global economic conditions.
“Local residents in Bulacan will be prioritized and we expect jobs and opportunities to be bountiful that we even see workers coming from all over Central Luzon, Metro Manila and as far as southern Luzon,” Ang said.
The MIA project, which is capable of handling up to 100 million passengers per year, is seen to create about 30 million tourism-related jobs, and generate more than a million direct jobs for host province Bulacan and nearby provinces.
This project will serve as impetus for the emergence of new local industries and boost existing businesses it will require suppliers, maintenance contractors, food providers, accommodations, and the like.
The Bulacan Airport City Economic Zone located near the MIA is also expected to attract business locators that will provide employment to local residents and boost local government revenues.
Seen to solve perennial congestion problems at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the MIA will initially feature four parallel runways with a provision for two more; a world-class terminal, and an infrastructure network that includes a mass rail system.(James A. Loyola)