SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria has not been back to his native Sariaya, Quezon since the quarantine in March due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, but he knows that good things are coming to his hometown.
The eight-time PBA champion is grateful that even if the pandemic has impacted the country’s economy, San Miguel Corporation president and COO Ramon S. Ang has vowed to pursue new investments in Sariaya. The town will soon host a modern, state-of-the-art integrated agro-industrial complex to include a brewery, a grains terminal and feed mill, a ready-to-eat food manufacturing plant, a fuel tank farm, and port facilities.
“Nakaka-bilib si Boss RSA dahil kung yung ibang kumpanya dito sa Pilipinas ay medyo nag-aalangan, siya naman tuluy-tuloy lang ang investment,” Austria said.
He added: “Sa panahong ito, maraming tao ang nahihirapan sa buhay. Kaya natutuwa ako na all-out pa si Boss. Marami talagang nangangailangan ng trabaho sa amin sa Sariaya, lalung lalo pa nung tumama ang COVID.”
Austria was born and raised in Sariaya, where he also learned to play basketball en route to a stint in the now-defunct Philippine Amateur Basketball League and the PBA, both as player and coach.
Austria told townmates about how San Miguel, under the leadership of RSA, has led COVID-19 response efforts in the private sector. SMC’s P13.112 billion support as of last June 25 includes P500 million for PCR testing machines, testing kits, personal protective equipment, and other medical donations; P511.1 million in food donations, including canned products, poultry, fresh meats, bread, flour biscuits, milk, coffee, rice; and P97.1 million worth of free ethyl alcohol donated to hospitals and critical health facilities.
Austria is sure that San Miguel’s investment support is what Sariaya needs to boost its economy and generate jobs for his townmates.
“Ako nga kailangang umalis pa ng Sariaya para makipagsapalaran sa Maynila nung bata pa ako dahil mahirap ang buhay. Ngayong nandito na ang San Miguel para tumulong ay di na kailangang pumunta pa ng Maynila ang mga taga sa amin,” he said.