BIZ BUZZ: Target: 100 SM malls


When the pandemic started three years ago, many people were quick to write off the local shopping mall industry, especially those of the SM Group which, many pointed out, were too boxy and too enclosed, thus limiting the circulation of fresh air. People will never return to malls, they said.

Fast forward to three years later and SM’s shopping malls are more alive than ever.

This week, the country’s largest retail conglomerate feted and treated their tenant partners to an afternoon of insight by internationally renowned speakers like author Malcolm Gladwell, as well as important FaceTime, chats and selfies with company bigwigs like Teresita Sy-Coson and Hans Sy.

But what was most revealing was the short address of SM Supermalls president Steven Tan who revealed that the group is on track to have 100 shopping malls nationwide (from 90 at present).Most importantly, the revitalization of flagship properties like SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia and the soon-to-rise Harrison Plaza redevelopment project are all on track for completion soon.

It definitely looks like those predicting the end of shopping malls spoke too soon.

— Daxim L. Lucas

Wanted: Women in mining

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has three words for the mining sector: let women lead.

Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga has called on mining companies to allow women to take charge of the business and enhance their participation in conservation and restoration projects.

“Let us harness our collective powers and unlock our potential and continue to chart the future of the Philippine mining industry where women stand shoulder to shoulder with men,” Loyzaga said in her speech before nongovernment organization Diwata (Women in Resource Development).

Gender-responsive approaches to community assessments, consultation and benefit-sharing are all vital to increase the success of the mining industry’s climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, according to the DENR chief, who also stressed women’s rights in crafting policies.

— Jordeene B. Lagare

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