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Big grocery chain eyeing to expand at Leyte Gov’t Center

By Provincial Media Relations Center
November 7, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Not another mall but a big national grocery chain is eyeing to open a new branch at the Government Center area.

Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla disclosed this amid talks of a possible new mall player to come in after the successful opening of the first ever mall in the city of Tacloban.

“I don’t think another mall would be viable at the moment. The first mall has just opened this year. We have to give them a chance to grow first on its own,” Gov. Petilla said.

A period of three to five years, the governor added, would be sufficient time for the current mall owner to grow and development before a new player in this business could come in and flourish in the same way.

Gov. Petilla however disclosed that not a mall, rather a “big grocery chain” is eyeing a site at the Government Center as expansion of its branch. He otherwise did not disclose yet the name of the possible locator.

The number of employees working at the various government offices located at the Government Center, workers inside the Leyte ICT Park and schools located nearby are seen to provide a big market for a grocery chain to open in the area, the governoir said.

He likewise added that drawing these kind of companies and businesses to the Government Center is part of the long-term plan of the province charted when he first assumed office in 2004.

The long-term development project for the Government Center is seen to draw together the principal elements of shopping, business and recreation within a single spot with the rehabilitation of a five-star hotel, an accessible IT facility, government offices, commercial areas and a public transport terminal which is already underway.

Gov. Petilla said that if the unutilized portion of the vast land at the Government Center will be turned into an intensive commercial and tourism hub, thousands of jobs will be created for the Leyteños. Creation of even a grocery chain would mean jobs for the unemployed in the area and nearby towns he said.

“This will also stir the economy not only of the province of Leyte but of the entire Eastern Visayas,” Governor Petilla told local media in an interview.

As the infrastructure and other facilities are being put into place by the provincial government, the governor said, the next big step in the coming years would be for “more investors to come in to invest and expand their business operations here in the province.”