[First Published at Iloilo Metropolitan Times - January 2013]
Pavia, Iloilo— Two malls are soon to rise in Pavia according to Pavia Municipal Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta. Without naming the said malls, industry sources reveal that talks are on going between the municipality and the Gokongweis and the Cos.
The Gokongweis own Robinsons Corporation. The Cos own Puregold Price Club a chain of 156 department stores that is said to be a threat to the crown of Henry Sy of SM Corporation as the nation’s king of retail industry. It’s owner Lucio Co is said to be very interested in Iloilo, same sources reveal. To date, Robinson’s corporation is expanding its business base in Iloilo City . Recently, Puregold has acquired Eunilaine foodmarts and Grocer E supermarkets, boosting its number by 15 new stores.
The University of Iloilo (UI) Extension Campus in Ungka II, owned by the Lopez’s, will host the rise of the two malls. Since the campus is not being utilized anymore, the Lopez’s decided to sell the entire property. Also, some part of Ungka II Barangay Complex, including the Barangay Hall, Mini Market, Basketball Court and Health Center, will be moved adjacent to the area where it is currently located.
Mayor Gorriceta said the plan was conceptualized late last year. It was the opening of the international flights in Iloilo Airport, the rapid growth of the residential subdivisions in the area and the ongoing circumferential road, 300 meters away from the site where the malls will be put up, that provided great influence for the project to come to life.
“This is a big project”, Mayor Gorriceta said. “This will serve as the magnet to Pavia. These malls will serve not only Pavia but also the surrounding towns. It will improve the local revenue of the town, create more jobs for the Pavianhons, attract more people from the north to shop nearer and will encourage more investors to come to Pavia, making it a bustling town”, he added.
He said, this huge development in the municipality will signal the coming of consumer oriented investors and these will be the first direct consumer oriented business establishments in town.
“The airport is the key to the development of the establishments around Pavia”, he said. Pavia plays a big role in promoting tourism (in Western Visayas.) Tourists have to pass through the town in coming in and out of Iloilo. Hence, it will continue to grow as a premiere municipality of the Philippines with better economy and balanced environment.