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SMC continues building homes, empowers communities with P3-B investment

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Since 2013, in the aftermath of typhoons Sendong and Yolanda, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has been at the forefront of building resilient housing communities nationwide.

Partnering with several organizations including Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity, SMC has invested P3.05 billion in the last decade to build or help provide new homes for families impacted by natural disasters, and various development projects.

SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang, acclaimed as a “Hero of Philanthropy” by Forbes Asia, emphasizes that providing secure housing is the first step in empowering families for nation-building.

“Housing is a basic need. To enable Filipinos  to participate in nation-building, we must first support the family unit. Providing safe homes for those affected by calamities or without a home has been our first step to transforming their lives,” he said.

SMC has built homes and communities in various areas nationwide, including Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Negros Oriental, Davao, Surigao, and Bohol, among others.

By the time the pandemic happened in 2020, SMC’s program had evolved from simply building houses to advancing holistic community development.

Its latest housing community in Sariaya, Quezon serves as a model. It features disaster-resilient and eco-friendly homes and amenities that include a multi-purpose center, covered court, livelihood center, e-library, as well as a fishermen’s wharf and a public market ran by the residents themselves.

Training programs on entrepreneurship, personal finance, food processing, farming, and other income-generating activities have also been provided to residents.

In partnership with the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA), SMC has extended this skills and livelihood training program nationwide, while assisting informal settlers in various locations secure titled properties and build permanent homes in various locations.

“Wherever San Miguel operates, progress follows. Our aim is to ensure that those we help are equipped for long-term success,” Ang said.

“But just as important as housing and jobs is having a sense of community. Being part of a supportive network is essential for their long-term success,” Ang said.

This is what brought the company to its current flagship social development program, the SMC Better World Community Centers.

The project utilizes SMC’s unused properties as well as other resources, to scale up the capabilities of partner organizations, to address pressing issues at the community level.

SMC currently has four Better World Community Centers: Better World Tondo, a food bank, feeding, learning, and health center; Better World Diliman, a ready market for excess farm produce to support local farmers; Better World Cubao, a center for women’s health and issues that also has a clinic and livelihood training facilities, and Better World Smokey Mountain, a learning center for adults and children living in the former Smokey Mountain landfill.

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