Surigao business community divided over ‘mall’

The proposed Gaisano Capital Surigao (Photo: Gaisano Capital)
The Surigao business community is apparently torn between welcoming large scale investment and the sentiments of some home-grown establishments.

In a breakfast interview with outgoing Surigao Chamber of Commerce president Jake Miranda, who is now the Director and Representative of the Mindanao business sector at Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), he reflected the views of most of the business community that look forward to the coming of Metro Gaisano Surigao Mall, a forthcoming establishment of Cebu-based Gaisano Capital Corp.

Dir. Miranda also added that he received statements of concern from local establishments that fear losing customers to the new mall but he feels that these are reactionary.

“Personally, with a strategic and long-term focus for development, this entry of Gaisano Capital in Surigao is good news. This is a stamp of approval for Surigao as a viable investment area. Who doesn’t want a mall or two malls in one’s city? You also interview the man on the street and he is happy that Surigao will finally have a mall.”


Dir. Miranda also said that while they are equally concerned for smaller establishments who may not be able to compete for customers, they add that this is the time to improve our own businesses to properly adjust strategies and operations.

He cited the case of Unicity which now blends well into the Surigao economy as local businesses engaged in similar trade have begun to adjust. “Take the case of Surigaonon businesses who have put up large groceries and restaurants or hotels, they were also met with some resistance from small-scale businesses, but in the end these large-scale businesses have contributed to raising standards of service and lowering of prices. The market for customers is not exclusive to locals but to those who can best provide value for money,” he added.

Dir. Miranda added, that “with all its retail, food and entertainment offerings, this is not a story about a new bully coming to Surigao, but the idea of a mall concept which allows even local businesses to participate as tenants, partners and workers. Money comes around, there will be plenty for everyone.”

“We are looking at 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and that is 1,000 families that can be fed. We estimate 1,000 more jobs that will be directly and indirectly connected with the mall during its operation. That is a total of 2,000 families fed at the very least. Tell me why each and every Surigaonon wouldn’t want that to happen,” Dir. Miranda added.

Maria, who owns a small retail store selling ladies dress wear however feels differently. “How can I ever compete with Gaisano? If I can afford it I will rent a stall inside the mall but I cannot. I fear that I will close down due to lack of customers coming to my store.”

Maria is not alone with her views. Certain big businesses are apparently snubbing the groundbreaking rites of Gaisano Capital on March 17, 2011 to reflect their dismay, and have relayed to city officials their apprehension of losing customers to the mall.

A businessmen who did not wish to be identified countered, “Most of us have accepted the fact that there is no stopping any businessman or corporation willing to invest in Surigao. We must make the most out of the situation. We welcome mining investments with red carpets even though they have environmental issues to settle, so shall we welcome any kind of responsible investment that comes to Surigao.” (FEA/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Surigao Today

All articles/photos on this website are for general information only. Surigaotoday.com does not own any responsibility for the correctness or authenticity of the information in the articles. We take no responsibility for loss, inconvenience or injury resulting from this information.