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SMEs and farmers in S. Luzon benefit from the community market.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is preparing to launch its second community market in the south to assist farmers and small businesses affected by the epidemic by offering a safe and ready outlet for their goods.

The Circolo weekend community market is located at the company’s idle 4,000-square-meter site in Cabuyao, Laguna, smack in the heart of a busy residential and industrial region that also includes the cities of Sta. Rosa and Calamba.

It is the second to open this year in the provinces of Laguna and Quezon, after the soon-to-open San Miguel Market in SMC’s housing complex in Sariaya.

โ€œA number of our farmers and SMEs (small and medium businesses) have been unable to sell their product or even meet their basic requirements due to market and supply chain disruptions. We believe that by doing so, we will be able to assist them in keeping their companies afloat while they continue to offer vital services to the surrounding communities,โ€ SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Beyond its financial advantages, the market, which will also include outdoor eating and recreational spaces, is anticipated to contribute to the growth of the local economy and promote communal togetherness in a safe environment.

SMC has been aggressively pursuing employment and livelihood programs from the beginning of the epidemic to assist impacted farmers and small businesses hit by lockdown measures sell their products, adjust to the new normal, and plan for the future.

Farmers and SMEs will be given rent-free slots at the Circolo community market, which will be administered by the company’s property arm in collaboration with the City of Cabuyao, headed by Mayor Rommel Gecolea.

โ€œBy making these places available for no rent, we can assist farmers and small companies in recovering, reducing costs, allocating more resources to capital, and earning more revenue. We are optimistic that the Circolo market will be of great assistance to them since the region is visited by cyclists, riders, tourists, and inhabitants of adjacent housing communities,โ€ he said.

Aside from offering a ready market, Ang said the Circolo community market strives to provide a selling environment that is safe for both vendors and customers by following strict health procedures to avoid the spread of Covid-19, as well as food safety and cleanliness requirements.

โ€œWe hope to be able to assist support our economy’s recovery by keeping our companies operating, our countrymen employed, and rigorous health standards in place for everyone’s safety,โ€ he said.

SMC previously built the San Miguel Market in Sariaya, Quezon, which is scheduled to open next month as part of a planned sustainable integrated food complex that would provide employment for inhabitants of the San Miguel-Christian Gayeta Village.

It will serve as a marketplace for locals to sell their fresh fish, fresh vegetables, and homemade goods directly to customers.

Farmers could sell their products in the โ€œKadiwa ni Ani at Kitaโ€ shops at Petron gas stations in Metro Manila in the early months of the epidemic, thanks to SMC’s collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DA).

SMC has created Better World Diliman, a community center in Quezon City that acts as a ready market for surplus food purchased from farmers at better-than-farmgate rates and sold to consumers and resellers at cheap costs, in collaboration with social business Rural Rising Philippines.

SMC also bought 524 million kilos of maize from farmers in Central Luzon, Pangasinan, and Camarines Sur via the DA.

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