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SMC pursuing $12-b Bulacan airport, MRT-7 amid pandemic

Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said it will pursue the expansion of its food and beverage, power and infrastructure businesses, including the proposed $12-billion airport project in Bulacan province, even as the domestic economy is still grappling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a message to shareholders as contained in the company’s 2019 annual report that the group would continue the expansion projects of its food business, the construction of new breweries in Cagayan de Oro and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, development of new unit of Masinloc Power Plant and the Battery Energy Storage System project.

Ang said San Miguel would also continue to implement its infrastructure projects such as the Skyway Stage 3, Skyway Extension, Metro Rail Transit Line 7, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway which are essential not just in keeping the economy going, but also in dealing with the issue of congestion.

He said that while the airline industry is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, San Miguel was still keen on developing the proposed airport project in Bulacan.

“We don’t know how this pandemic will affect global travel in the medium-term, but we are still pushing through with our plans to build the airport,” Ang said.

“We still believe that a world-class airport is key to sustaining our economic growth and solving our air transport congestion problems,” he said.   

The group’s food business managed to register growth during the lockdown period.  In order to bring its products to the consumers, the group set up new and non-traditional selling channels, including tapping community resellers and ramping up selling through online channels. 

“Within a fairly short amount of time, we were able to launch order through sanmiguelfoods.com. This serves as a safer, more convenient way for our customers to buy our products. So definitely, these channels will be part of our new normal,” Ang said.

Ang said the company was already seeing a slow recovery as the country shifted from enhanced community quarantine to general community quarantine.

“Until there’s a vaccine, the battle with COVID-19 is far from over. It’s going to be a gradual recovery, and already we’re seeing a lot of improvement because of the shift to GCQ starting in June,” Ang said.

“There will be challenges we can’t foresee, but as always, San Miguel will be resilient. We will adjust, improve and adapt. If there is one thing in these uncertain times that we can be sure of, it’s that in all major crises that San Miguel has faced, we always come out stronger,” Ang said.

Topics: San Miguel Corp. , SMC , Bulacan airport , MRT-7 , COVID-19 pandemic
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