San Miguel Corporation said local officials, residents, and various stakeholders have expressed their full support for the immediate construction of the new Manila International Airport in Barangay Taliptip, Bulakan, Bulacan.
They emphasized that the game-changing project to be built by SMC will further unlock the economic potential of Bulacan province, provide jobs to millions of Filipinos, and help the country recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bulacan governor Daniel Fernando, Bulakan town mayor Vergel Meneses, and officials and residents of Barangay Taliptip and Barangay Bambang voiced their support for the P740 billion project during the public hearing, conducted by Environment Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) yesterday.
The local officials and residents said they were formally consulted and have carefully weighed the proposed airport’s benefits for the province and its residents, including measures to mitigate perennial flooding in the province.
“This project will bring progress and a higher quality of life,” said Gov. Fernando, adding that the province is poised to become a global destination for tourism with the construction of the airport.
Mayor Meneses, for his part, said that the town of Bulacan is lucky to have a strategic location that is fit for a modern airport that will address congestion problems that has affected many air travelers at the country’s current gateways.
“This project is supported by me, the city council and the town of Bulakan. We wish the project will start as soon as possible because we believe it will open up a lot of opportunities for our town,” Meneses said.
He highlighted that Bulakan took into careful consideration the economic development, job opportunities, and new businesses that the airport project will bring. The town’s council issued a formal decision to support the undertaking in October 27 last year.
Barangay captains Michael Ramos and Jesus Cruz of Taliptip and Bambang, respectively, pointed out the timeliness of the project, citing that many of their residents are experiencing poverty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The proposed airport will be located in the said barangays.
Ramos said that San Miguel has shown its commitment and support to his barangay, particularly the relocated residents, even prior to construction. He added that even prior to construction, residents have already been provided skills training and livelihood opportunities.
Cruz, meanwhile said that it is part of local officials’ responsibility to help their communities during tough times, that is why the Sangguniang Barangay considered the potential benefits of the airport in growing the barangay’s economy.
A total of 364 beneficiaries benefited from SMC’s cash assistance. The company gave 277 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.