It is now over a year since economic activity in the country slowed down because of the pandemic. Many companies have adopted the wait-and-see attitude, putting on hold investments. But not San Miguel Corporation, one of the country’s top corporations. Instead, SMC is ramping up its investments in infrastructure, energy and food manufacturing, among others.
This reminds me of former President Fidel V. Ramos, who, during his incumbency, told members of the Rotary Tri-Districts 3050, 3860, and 3870 that in the game of development, there is nothing gained where nothing is ventured. This holds true to this day.
It is individual initiative and private enterprise that must provide the driving force for development. In a published article, San Miguel Corporation President and COO Ramon S. Ang was quoted saying it is SMC’s vision to lead efforts to deliver on national goals and help set the pace of progress in the country. “Our corporate slogan is to make the world better for Filipinos. I believe both describe well our aspiration of making the Philippines succeed and improving the lives of our countrymen. These are the things that inspire and drive us and make us passionate about our work,” he said.
The investments of SMC are geared toward sustainable development—economic, environmental, social—not only in the National Capital Region but in every region across the country. After its construction of the Skyway Stage 3 project that has made travel from areas north to areas south of Metro Manila and vice versa a breeze, SMC is building the new Manila International Airport in Bulacan expected to be completed in 2025. The new Manila International Airport project is the largest investment in infrastructure by a Philippine company at P740-billion. It will ease traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and is expected to spur tourism-related activities and investments in the region.
Millions of jobs will be created during and after construction and local economies are expected to get the much-needed stimulus. Included in the development plan is an eight-kilometer airport toll road that will connect the airport to the NLEX and Skyway Stage 3 to the SLEX. SMC is also proposing rail and road networks to form part of a seamless transport system. These include the NMIA Airport Expressway, Integrated Airport Toll Expressway Network Northern Access Link, Integrated Airport Toll Expressway Network-Southern Access Link, Integrated Airport Toll Expressway Network- Central Access Link, East Metro Manila Expressway, Northeast Airport Expressway, Calamba-San Pedro Expressway, Bulacan-Tarlac Expressway (BTEX), Bataan-Bulacan Expressway (BBEX), Skyway Stage 3-R10 NMIA Expressway, MRT 7 Road, and NMIA Expressway MRT 7 (Road Spur Access). The proposed rail network are the MRT7 Katipunan Spur, MRT7 Airport Expressway-North Line, MRT7 Airport Expressway-West Line, MRT7 Extension Project, and MRT7 Airport Expressway Southeast Line. “Taken together with the airport, travel and trade in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and outside the country will be easier and more efficient,” RSA said.
Chosen to undertake the land development works for the airport project is Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. through its subsidiary Boskalis Philippines, Inc. The company’s work plan and methodology include measures to prevent liquefaction in the area, a major concern of those who opposed the airport construction. According to Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands J. Eduardo Malaya, the involvement of the Royal Boskalis, a Dutch company in the land development of the new airport underscores the dynamism of Philippine-Netherlands economic partnership.
Malaya made the statement during a courtesy call by representatives of the Royal Boskalis at the Philippine Embassy in The Hague recently. During their visit, the Boskalis officials affirmed the company “will undertake its work on an environmentally-sound basis and protect the Manila Bay shoreline.” In an earlier statement Boskalis CEO Peter Berdowski, said: “As Boskalis, we have a rich tradition in creating land all over the world to the highest technical and environmental standards.”In the energy sector, SMC is spending over US$1 billion to build simultaneously 31 new battery energy storage facilities nationwide through SMC Global Power Holdings. With a total committed capacity of 1,000 megawatts, the facilities will be located in strategic sites from Luzon to Mindanao where power quality mitigations are required.
According to RSA, the ongoing investment into battery energy storage facilities will greatly benefit power consumers all over the country. “Faraway provinces or areas, can have the same stable and good quality power supply as everywhere else,” he said. This will give those areas better and more opportunities for industrialization and economic growth.“This can even support equal-opportunity industrialization in many provinces where historically, no industrial plants would locate because of poor power quality,” he added. RSA said the battery energy storage facilities can also facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources such as wind or solar into the grid. It is the task of the company president to ensure that his organization runs well and fulfills its goals.
No doubt, RSA is doing his job exceptionally well.