SURIGAO CITY -- A two-storey P200-million Gaisano shopping mall is set to rise here before the end of the year, an official said.
The Gaisano Capital Group headed by Henry S. Gaisano II will open the mall in December this year, Eric Labrada, Gaisano Capital Group’s corporate human resources head, said.
Already, ground filling is under way in order to elevate the 3.5-hectare property near the Surigao Airport, Surigao City Bus and Jeepney Terminal and St. Paul University.
Mr. Labrada said the building floor area will only be 10,000 square meters but the design will allow for horizontal expansion in the future.
The first floor will house a supermarket while clothing apparel, houseware, appliances, school and office supplies will be sold at the second level.
Mr. Labrada added that the Gaisano Group has assured local officials and nearby residents that flooding will not occur in the mall area or in the vicinity since a comprehensive drainage plan was integrated in the design.
Eight percent of the needed personnel that will be hired will come from Surigao City, he said.
The local business sector, for its part, welcomed the entry of the retail giant originally from Cebu City during groundbreaking rites held in mid-March.
Johann Jake B. Miranda, outgoing president of the Surigao Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told BusinessWorld that the presence of Gaisano shopping mall is a stamp of approval to the “city’s viability as an investment destination.”
Because of the large operations of the planned shopping mall, Mr. Miranda said, it will generate larger employment.
“Directly and indirectly, there are a lot of our fellow ‘kababayans’ who will be employed in this mall and thus we welcome its presence,” he said.
Reacting to the information that some local traders are threatened by the Gaisano Group’s entry, Mr. Labrada said it is the shopper’s choice where he or she will go. “As they say, we are only giving Surigao [consumers] freedom where to go and where to shop,” he said. -- Vanessa L. Almeda
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