TACLOBAN CITY- Close to a year after this city was pummeled by supertyphoon Yolanda, its business outlook appears to have slowly recovered based on the number of business establishments now in operation.
From January up to October 7 of this year, 8,130 business establishments are now operating in Tacloban generating 16,295 employment and an income of P92 million for the city. Earlier, the City Treasure.r’s Office only projected an income from business collection of P100 million with its 2014 annual city budget revised to just P600 million from its original P800 million. Irene Chiu, chief of the Business License and Permits Division, said that the number indicates that Tacloban is now back to business after it was devastated by Yolanda on November 8, 2013. “I think we are now slowly recovering. This only proves that investors still have confidence for Tacloban. After all, we are still the center for trade and commerce in Eastern Visayas,” Chiu said. She added that with more business operating in Tacloban would mean employment generation and income for the city government which still relies on its share on internal revenue allotment from the national government. Tacloban receives about P400 million for its IRA.

Prior to Yolanda’s devastation, there were more than 12,900 business establishments operating in Tacloban, considered the ground zero of the world’ strongest typhoon. The city government generated P400 million from business taxes and licenses pre-Yolanda. Chiu said that out of the 8,130 business establishments now open in Tacloban, 953 were new businesses or those which are operating in the city after Yolanda’s devastation. Chiu said that they expect more establishments coming to Tacloban to do business considering that its condition is slowly improving. She said that they are now talking with one of the country’s biggest chain of supermarkets. “Hopefully, this will materializes,” Chiu said. Before the year is over, the Save More will be opening in Tacloban, the first venture of SM Group of companies in the region. Meantime, the Robinsons and Gaisano malls are now in full operations in Tacloban with another branch of Robinsons expected to be constructed at the Tacloban New Bus Terminal next year. (JOEY A. GABIETA)