Ogie Diaz laments building of more malls, condominiums
Ogie Diaz lamented the building of more shopping malls in the country and cited the cost of such infrastructure on the environment and mall tenants.
Diaz made his sentiments known when he shared a recent ABS-CBN report about SM Supermalls’ plans to open an average of five to seven malls per year in the next five years.
“Bongga ito kaso ang malungkot, nauubos na ang farmland natin. Kung hindi malls, condo buildings ang itinatayo. O subdivision,” Diaz said via Facebook on Wednesday, June 26. “Kumokonti na ang sisipsip ng tubig baha pagdating ng panahon. Umaaray na din ang ibang tenants sa mga malls, sa sobrang strict.”
(This is great, but what is sad is we are running out of farmland. If not malls, they build condominiums or subdivisions. When the time comes, we will have less soil to absorb flood water. Other tenants in malls are also having a hard time due to strict policies.)
Diaz also said that the rent for mall tenants were high and that what they paid also depended on whether they had high gross sales for a month.
“Kahit saan mo daanin, panalo ang mall. Annually pa tumataas ang upa,” he said. “Pag kumikita ang isang tindahan, kukurutan pa ng admin ng percentage yon bilang marketing support daw nila ek-ek nila sa mga bagong bubuksang mall branches.”
(Whichever way you look at it, it is the mall that wins. The rent increases annually. When a store earns, the mall administration would get a percentage of their earnings in the name of marketing support for their new mall branches.)
Diaz added someone told him there is also a bond worth P500,000 in the mall administration’s treasury, which does not earn money. The tenant will only get the money after they vacate their spot, he claimed.
“Pero ganyan ang negosyo eh. Kaya siguro successful sila, kasi mahigpit sila sa patakaran nila. Kung wa mo feel, wag ka umupa sa kanila. Ayaw mo? Wag mo,” said Diaz. “Susugal ka na lang talaga at pikit-matang tatanggapin ang katotohanang ganun talaga eh. You choose na lang.”
(But that’s how business is. Maybe that’s why they are successful, because they are strict with their policies. If you do not feel it, then don’t rent from them. If you don’t want to, then don’t. You’ll just gamble and accept, with one eye closed, the truth that this is how things are. So choose.)
Expansion is what’s in store for SM Prime Holdings Inc. this 2019 as it seeks to widen its reach in the Philippines and abroad. As per a report last April, the company planned to open four new malls this year to add to its existing 72 shopping malls. They will also be launching an additional 15,000 to 20,000 residential units.
Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has partnered with SM Supermalls to build up “shopping tourism.” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said during the “Malling Is More Fun in the Philippines” campaign last May that the shopping experience is a vital component in the Philippines’ tourism industry.
“It’s no small feat that SM Supermalls have somewhat defined our cities and helped shape our collective memory,” Puyat said then. “And now that tourist numbers have continued to climb, shopping centers such as SM will hold great influence on the experience that tourists will take away, and on how our visitors from around the globe will perceive us.” /ra