San Miguel Corp. announced on Wednesday, September 2, that it plans to offer jobs to returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and local residents of Bulacan to build the P734-billion Manila International Airport in Bulakan, Bulacan.
According to SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang, the company would prioritize the initial hiring of local residents, especially those relocated from Barangay Taliptip where the airport would be built.
San Miguel Corp Eyes Returning OFWs for Work at Bulacan Airport
In line with this, the company shared an update that sixty former residents of the barangay are set to start training under the Technical Education Skills Development Authority, which designs courses on skills specific to the needs of the airport’s construction, the Manila Bulletin reported.
“We designed these skills training program with TESDA specifically to equip Bulakeños with the necessary skills needed to either work at the airport project, put up small businesses to support airport workers, or even start on their own elsewhere if they choose to do so,” shared Ang.
“Over the next couple of years, construction of this massive airport will generate hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. We will prioritize local residents, but there will be so many jobs and livelihood opportunities that ultimately, workers will come from all over Bulacan, Central Luzon, even Metro Manila and Southern Luzon,” he added.
As COVID-19 has left the country with an economic downturn, Ang said that San Miguel was more determined to push through with large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the airport, to boost the economy and provide more jobs to many Filipinos who were rendered jobless.
Aside from the local residents, SMC also aims to open employment opportunities to overseas Filipino workers who were returning in droves to the country due to the uncertain global economic conditions.
The first batch of sixty residents is set to undergo training in courses such as shielded metal arc welding, electrical installation and maintenance, and heavy equipment operations. Meanwhile, courses such as dressmaking and cookery are also available for residents who wish to become self-employed.
All trainees who will take part in the first batch of training under TESDA will receive tool kits or tools for their chosen trade.
The P734-billion airport project, to be built at no cost to the government, is expected to help solve the perennial congestion problems at the country’s primary gateway. The airport will initially feature four parallel runways with a provision for two more; a world-class terminal; and an infrastructure network that will include a mass rail system to ensure accessibility and easy connectivity.
With its construction and operation, the airport is capable of handling up to 100 million passengers a year, create about 30 million tourism-related jobs, and generate more than a million direct jobs for the host province Bulacan and nearby provinces.
Furthermore, SMC noted that the airport project would also give rise to new local industries and boost existing ones, as construction and operation would require suppliers, maintenance contractors, food providers, accommodations, and the likes.