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​Laging alaga! SMC gives cash, food packs to fisherfolk in Cavite

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has kicked off its P500-million financial assistance program for fisherfolk in Cavite who are affected by the construction of the New Manila International Airport (NMIA).

Under San Miguel Aerocity Inc.’s (SMAI) initiative, some 5,000 fisherfolk families in the towns of Rosario, Tanza, Naic, and Ternate will each receive a monthly financial assistance of P5,000 until the company’s operation in the area is completed by 2024.

Eligible fisherfolk were identified based on both third-party surveys and a selection and validation process by local officials and leaders of local fishermen’s groups.

SMAI has also committed to providing monthly food assistance to over 8,000 families across all four towns, to help them cope with rising food prices.

SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon Ang said the conglomerate is “taking all necessary measures” to mitigate the impact of NMIA’s construction on fisherfolk in Cavite.

“As we do in all areas where we have operations, we work to establish a good working relationship or partnership with our host communities. For this particular project, we have local teams and offices in the area, as well as a well-established grievance mechanism. We assure them they can come straight to us if they have any concerns at all, ” Ang said.

He said SMC is also tapping a third-party organization to partner with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to study how to improve fishing yields from the shoal. This is to help bring up the volume of catch from the area, even long after the activities of its contractor, Boskalis, are completed.

“We will continue to work with local government units in Cavite and concerned national government agencies like the DENR, to ensure that our operations will have a positive impact on those affected,” Ang vowed.