Settlers in future Bulacan airport site relocate to new, safer houses

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Photo courtesy: San Miguel Corporation

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 22) – Residents of Brgy. Taliptip in Bulakan, Bulacan who live in the future site of San Miguel Corporation's airport project were relocated to new and safer homes provided by the diversified conglomerate.

Around 16 houses were built in nearby barangays of Sta. Ana, Bambang, Tibig, and San Nicolas in Bulakan town for the relocation of the affected settlers who previously lived in shanties in Taliptip.

SMC credited the Diocese of Malolos for its role in the relocation of former Taliptip residents, who now also have better prospects for their future because of new job and livelihood opportunities provided by the company.

The diversified conglomerate recently started a crab mangrove industry near the future New Manila International Airport site to provide an alternative livelihood for affected and nearby residents in the area.

SMC president and COO Ramon Ang thanked Malolos Archbishop Dennis Villarojo for communicating to the company the wishes of the settlers.

"We promised Bishop Dennis Villarojo that we would prioritize helping Taliptip residents move to safer locations and have houses to call their own. We also said we would make sure they will have a better future," said Ang. "With guidance and support from Bishop Villarojo, we have been able to deliver on these promises, and we're committed to continue taking care of residents from Taliptip."

SMC also held a dialogue with other Taliptip residents, most of them preferred availing of financial assistance to build their own houses even if the company has an option to give them titled house and lots in safer areas in Bulacan.

"Many have completed construction of their new houses. A good number of former settlers have also gone back to their provinces to build their houses and start anew there. Some have used part of the financial assistance to put up small businesses, or send their children to school," Ang added.

SMC is investing around ₱740 billion to build the New Manila International Airport, seen as a "game-changer" project by the conglomerate and is expected to decongest the country's primary gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved the franchise of San Miguel Aerocity Inc. to build, develop, and operate the new airport. The franchise bill only needs the President's signature for it to become a law.