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EDITORIAL: Malled City

NAGA CITY is fast becoming a City of Malls. At present it has at least 11, with one about to be completed and operational. Aside from these malls there are leisure sites with their own shopping joints and boutiques. Large hardware bodegas also abound the city.

With a small city population of less than 200,000 one wonders how these businesses survive.

Camarines Sur has 35 municipalities with their own small malls and department stores. It has an extrapolated population of 2 Million. The economy is largely agriculture with a very small and traditional fishing industry. While it belongs to a region with a reported growth rate of 2.9% still the province’s poverty incidence is at 35.2% (PSA 2015) so the question and economic development policy should and must be on the following:

From where do these Naga Malls get their customers?

Who, what is the profile and how big are their business market?

Where do they get their supplies of goods and commodities?

Where do they get their initial and operating capital?

How much taxes are generated and paid to the city coffer?

How much employment is generated by these establishments?

What peripheral economic activities are created by or involved in their operations?

How do they affect the social, economic, environmental, legal and political landscape of the City?

How are they involved in the city development planning, for Metro Naga, for Camarines Sur?

What are their individual and organizational plans and directions for the short, medium and long term?

And finally, why are there less or no manufacturing or processing industries in the city and in the province – only merchandizing and trading malls? And because malls and enterprises need capital, what is the present profile of the savings deposit and loans of the banks and financial institutions in Naga City?

These issues are important factors in the development of the City of Malls. Our local, provincial, regional and national government agencies must make efforts to study them if we want to take advantage of these astonishing business phenomena. RRB

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