TACLOBAN CITY- Close to three years after this city was devastated by supertyphoon “Yolanda,” its economy appears on the upswing with big-ticket investments coming in.

The latest to invest in this city of more than 220,000 people is the Cebu-based shopping mall, the Metro Gaisano. The opening of the Metro Gaisano in this city would not only benefit to the city government in terms of taxes it would pay but more so, generate employment and livelihood opportunities to the people, said Marilou Tabao, chief of staff of Mayor Alfred Romualdez. The proposed Metro Gaisano will be located along Real Street at a twohectare lot owned by the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP). The Metro Gaisano, owned by Frank Gaisano, will lease the lot for 25 years, Tabao said.

Tabao said that if plan will push through the construction of the two-storey mall will start next month and is expected to be finished within the year or early next year.
Last January 27, Romualdez met with the representatives of the said shopping mall informing him on their decision to invest in Tacloban, considered the ground zero of the world’s strongest typhoon to hit landfall on November 8, 2013. “The operation of the Metro Gaisano in Tacloban will not only help the city government in terms of taxes but will also create more job opportunities and generate livelihood as well,” Tabao said.

The city official said that about a thousand of people, coming from the city and other parts of the region, could find employment when the Metro Gaisano opens. Tabao, however, could not say on how much the Metro Gaisano will be pouring in in Tacloban as it opens a branch in the city. She said with the opening of the Metro Gaisano, even local producers could sell their products there. She added that the city government under Mayor Romualdez will extend all possible assistance to the owners of the Metro Gaisano to ensure that their planned opening in Tacloban will be smooth.

The Gaisano shopping mall was the first to set foot in Tacloban back in 1988. At present, there are two Gaisano-owned shopping malls operating in the city- the Gaisano Capital and the Gaisano Central. Aside from the Gaisano shopping malls, another Cebu-based shopping mall is operating in Tacloban, the Robinsons Mall as well as the hyper market of the SM Group of Companies, SaveMore.