Posted on December 8, 2020
MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corp (SMC) is pursuing a P1 billion dredging project of the Tullahan River, a river that spans Quezon City, Navotas, Malabon and Valenzuela.
SMC is hiring former residents of Barangay Taliptip in Bulacan, site of its upcoming P740-billion Manila International Airport project—as heavy equipment operators for the dredging project.
The dredging project will start from Barangay Tanong in Malabon City, to the mouth of the river leading to Manila Bay in Navotas City.
Also in the pipeline is the river channel improvement of tributaries belonging to the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS) in Bulacan, which was recently hit by heavy flooding caused by the recent typhoons.
Ang said SMC’s plan is to dredge, widen, and deepen the Alipit or Taliptip River, Sta. Maria River, and the Meycauayan River as part of its flood mitigation strategy for the Manila International Airport that will also benefit the whole of Bulacan.
The initial batch of former Taliptip residents underwent an SMC-funded training with the Technical Education Development and Skills Authority (TESDA) on heavy equipment operation.
SMC president and COO Ramon Ang said that with the river cleanup project, the initial batch of Taliptip graduates would be able to earn income and get additional training in preparation for the airport project.
“For the 12 that graduated the heavy equipment operations course, this will be their practical, on-the-job training. They can put the things they learned into actual practice. This will allow them to further hone their skills and prepare them for airport construction. More significantly, this means they will now start earning from the skills they just acquired while making a difference,” Ang said.
The graduates are part of a larger group of residents that enrolled in, and graduated from various SMC-funded courses designed by TESDA to equip former residents of Taliptip with skills to gain employment or put up their own small businesses.
SMC also provided financial assistance for the relocation of the affected residents and construction of new, concrete houses.
Residents in the area previously raised concerns on losing their homes and livelihood because of SMC’s airport project but Ang said the company is committed to helping the former residents of Taliptip, many of whom used to live in houses on stilts.
SMC said 35 graduates of airport construction-related courses, including heavy equipment/hydraulic excavator operations, electrical installation and maintenance, and shielded metal arc welding, would be referred to SMC Aerocity, which will handle the airport development.