LISTED conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said over the weekend it will take an active role in rebuilding communities in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur by providing start-up business packages to families of soldiers killed in action in the clashes with the terrorist Maute group.
“Through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) … the assistance to families will be in the form of a business start-up package to ensure that families will have a sustainable source of income for the long term,” the company said in a statement.
The package is estimated at P2 million per family.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on the night of May 23 amid clashes between government troops and Islamic State-inspired Maute group in Marawi. The military rule in Mindanao will be in effect for 60 days.
Authorities said the death toll in the Marawi siege has reached 175, comprising 120 rebels, 36 government troops, and 19 civilians. Among the fallen soldiers are 11 who were killed by friendly fire on May 31.
“All of us Filipinos are in awe of the courage and heroism of our soldiers. Our soldiers deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. It’s very unfortunate that we have lost many of them in this conflict. We mourn with their families and the whole nation,” SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said.
“The best way we can honor our fallen soldiers is to try and help their loved ones have a chance at a better future. For our part, San Miguel commits to provide their families the means to put up their own start-up businesses. We will assist them, and help their community recover sustainability,” he added.
Ang said the company’s San Miguel Foundation and the AFP will finalize the particulars of the assistance package and rebuild program for the affected communities.
SMC is a diversified conglomerate which holds Ang’s businesses including beverages, food and packaging (San Miguel Brewery, Inc., Ginebra San Migue, Inc., San Miguel Pure Foods Company, Inc.,) fuel and oil (Petron Corp.), energy and power (SMC Global Power), infrastructure (Eagle Cement Corp.), and banking (Bank of Commerce).