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New malls cause economic ripple effect in Mambaling

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – The economic ripple effect of newly opened malls in Cebu is now apparent in the areas where they operate, most notably in Barangay Mambaling, this city, wherein two malls opened barely two months ago.

The opening of SM Seaside City Cebu at the South Road Properties and the Gaisano Grand Mall in Jai-alai, have already made an impact to the communities in the area.

For instance, at least three groups of “habal-habal” (motorcycle) drivers are now plying the route to the new SM mall for workers and mall goers going there.

The Motorjack Riders Association, a group of around 100 drivers, said that they have been servicing rides in Mambaling even before the Seaside mall opened.

But the opening of the new malls in the area gave birth to two new groups of habal-habal drivers.

“We (drivers) are growing in numbers after the mall opening,” Roy Muñoz, 40, told The FREEMAN in Cebuano while calling for passengers in a morning rush yesterday.

Muñoz, a member of Motorjack, said new drivers have organized their groups to answer the demand for easy transport going to the SRP area.

Muñoz shared that they mostly serve workers and mall goers of the mall especially during rush hours. They also offer rides to other areas.

As of now, no public utility jeepneys (PUJs) are plying routes to SRP except the MyBus units that SM operates through the Metro Rapid Transit System Inc.

These habal-habal drivers, who are noticeably in orange, green and black uniforms, are staying in specific areas in San Roque, barangay Mambaling. Members of the two new associations are in orange and black uniforms while those of Motorjack are wearing green.

They however admitted that they don’t have permits from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and Cebu City Transportation Office but said the Barangay Hall knows about their existence.

A 55-year-old driver, who asked not to be named, said he now has regular income in offering rides to SRP.

Muñoz, however, shared he earned less now than before because more drivers are now competing for passengers.

Drivers usually ask for P15-P20 for a ride from Mambaling to SM Seaside. Passengers especially mall employees, for their part, welcome the existence of these motorcycle drivers.

Displaced

On the other hand, the opening of the Gaisano Grand Jai-alai has displaced lechon vendors formerly occupying where the mall now stands.

Both sides of the road in Jai-alai were previously occupied by lechon vendors not until a Gaisano mall was built on one side.

Imelda Compañero, 52, of Frina’s Lechon revealed that as far as she knew, there were two stores displaced in the area where the mall was built and were paid P10,000 each by the company to relocate.

Frina’s was one of those that moved to the other side of the road.

A vendor of another lechon store, Arlene Abayan, 52, said the opening of the Gaisano mall has not really increased sales of the lechon stores there.

Its effect, however, can be seen in the increase of cars plying near Jai-alai leading to the SM area, the woman observed.

This shows that aside from the economic impact of these newly opened malls, they also have affected the movements of people and the community in general. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ARLENE ABAYAN ATILDE BARANGAY HALL BARANGAY MAMBALING DRIVERS FRINA GAISANO GAISANO GRAND JAI MALL MAMBALING
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