San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has formally turned over land ownership titles to former residents of Sitio Kinse in Barangay Taliptip who are now starting a new life in their new concrete homes at a safer location in Barangay Bambang, Bulakan, in time for Christmas.

The new homeowners, part of the last batch of former residents to move out of the future site of SMC’s P740-billion world-class airport project, were able to buy land and build new homes with the financial assistance provided to them by SMC.

The company also helped them find the property they chose, construct their houses, and secured for them electricity and water utilities connection. SMC also took care of processing the transfer of ownership and titling of properties to their names.

The turnover last Dec. 3 coincided with the blessing of the new houses by Fr. Ramon Garcia of former Taliptip residents Teody Bacon, Teodoro Bacon, Rodel Alvarez, Primitivo Canceran, Roberto Bantigue, Jose Roger Requinto, and their families.

In Barangay Taliptip, the former Sitio Kinse residents did not own the land where their houses on stilts stood. They also did not have access to water and electricity.

Immediately after the completion of construction, they decided to move into their new houses last October 31 before heavy rains and wind brought by Typhoon Ulysses reached many parts of Luzon, including Bulacan.

“Kung kami lang siguro ang nag-asikaso baka ni-isang papel wala pa kami naaasikaso. Kaya salamat po talaga sa SMC sa pag-alalay nila sa amin mula sa paghahanap ng lote, pagpapatayo ng bahay at pag-aasikaso sa pagtatransfer ng titulo at higit sa lahat sa pag-aasikaso na magkaroon kami ng sariling tubig at kuryente,” Bacon said.

Bacon said that although many of his neighbors will still rely on fishing, they are looking forward to the livelihood and skills training opportunities to be provided for them by SMC under the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA).

Recently, the first 58 graduates of the TESDA courses completed their courses in shielded metal arc welding, electrical Installation and maintenance, heavy equipment operations, dressmaking, and cookery.

Twelve graduates of the Heavy Equipment Operator course are set to be employed in the ongoing dredging project in Tullahan River and also the planned river channel improvement projects in Bulacan.

SMC provided a total of 277 owners of concrete and shanty houses in Barangay Taliptip with financial assistance. The company gave owners of non-concrete houses or shanties P250,000 each, while owners of concrete houses were given the appraised value of their homes, multiplied by two, plus P100,000.

SMC also provided cash assistance to 87 others who were disqualified, for a total of 364 beneficiaries.

Upon the request of Malolos Bishop Dennis Villarojo, SMC also distributed the total appraised cash value of abandoned chapels in Sitio Pariyahan, Sitio Dapdap, Sitio Bunutan, and Sitio Capol to the 242 residents of these sitios. Although many decided to stay in Bulacan, many residents also transferred to their provinces, namely Samar, Negros, Nueva Ecija, Sorsogon, Mindoro, Masbate, Camarines Sur, Malabon, Bataan Valenzuela, Paranaque, Dumaguete, and Albay.