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San Miguel says construction of Bulacan Airport, new plants, infra projects to continue

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said Tuesday the construction of its P735-billion New Manila International Airport (NMIA) project in Bulacan and all its major infrastructure and expansion initiatives will push through despite the economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All our major, important projects will continue,” SMC president and COO Ramon Ang said during the conglomerate’s virtual annual stockholders’ meeting.

Among the company’s major projects is the NMIA or the Bulacan Airport project, which was awarded to SMC’s infrastructure arm San Miguel Holdings Inc. in August 2019.

Vital to decongesting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)—now operating at overcapacity, the Bulacan airport has a design capacity of 100 million to 200 million passengers per year, with four parallel runways for faster processing of flights and aircraft.

The project involves the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 2,500-hectare airport in Bulacan. The development includes a passenger terminal building with airside and landside facilities, an airport toll road, and four runways.

It includes an 8.4-kilometer tollway connecting the airport to the North Luzon Expressway in Marilao, Bulacan.

Apart from the Bulacan Airport, SMC will also continue all its ongoing major projects such as. the construction of new manufacturing facilities in various regions nationwide and major infrastructure projects like expressways and railways.

“Before the pandemic, and even more so now, we believe these projects will be key to making more Filipinos resilient, by providing jobs and boosting local economies, which in turn, will provide livelihood opportunities,” Ang said.

“With more manufacturing facilities in key regions that provide direct jobs and downstream employment, infrastructure that increases mobility and ease of trade, and sufficient and reliable access to power and fuel, we hope to help our economy through this crisis and boost our nation’s recovery,” he added.

Among the new facilities SMC is completing are 12 feed mills of one million annual tons capacity each, expanded poultry farms and a poultry processing facility.

Other projects also include new breweries in Cagayan de Oro and Sta. Rosa in Laguna, the new unit of Masinloc Power Plant, and ongoing infrastructure projects such as the Skyway 3, Skyway Extension, Skyway 4, MRT7, and TPLEx.

Ang also expressed confidence on the economy’s ability to recover strong, even as he acknowledged the need for companies to adapt to changes in the business environment.

“We are still dealing with a crisis today. Until there’s a cure for COVID-19, we cannot let our guard down. Nevertheless, we are determined to work smart and safe and do our part to help our economy, our country and people during this critical time,” he said.

“The best way we can do this is to continue, and not scale back, on investments in infrastructure and capacity expansion, as well as provide support for the poor, and other key sectors such as agriculture and the health industry,” he added

Throughout the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and beyond, SMC led private sector efforts to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Filipinos, particularly disadvantaged communities, medical front liners, and the agricultural sector.

SMC’s COVID-19 response efforts have reached P13.112 billion as of June 25, which include:

  • P3.09 billion in compensation for employees and third-party providers during ECQ
  • P511.1 million in food donations, including canned products, poultry, fresh meats, bread, flour biscuits, milk, coffee, rice
  • P500 million for medical donations, including PCR testing machines, testing kits, personal protective equipment, and other medical donations
  • P100 million contribution to Project Ugnayan from Ramon S. Ang and family
  • P97.1 million worth of free alcohol (1.3 million liters)
  • P30.7 million worth of toll fees waived for medical front liners
  • P6.2 million in free fuel for government’s Libreng Sakay programs for medical workers
  • P7 million for emergency quarantine facilities with 15 beds each nationwide

The company said it also paid government P8.77 billion in advanced taxes, concession, and contractual fees during the early months of the quarantine period, to help ensure that funds would be available to the government for its critical response to the pandemic.

SMC also provided significant assistance to farmers nationwide by providing guaranteed offtake for 78 million kilograms of corn to boost farm incomes. The company also partnered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to open Kadiwa stores at Petron stations to enable farmers to sell their produce to consumers.

The company also purchased excess carabao’s milk for donation, to help carabao farmer cooperatives and pledged R&D support to improve product shelf life and marketability. -MDM, GMA News