Mati, Davao Oriental – Two big Davao City-based shopping malls are planning to expand in this town, Mayor Francisco Rabat said.
Mr. Rabat said the New City Commercial Center and Gaisano Mall of Davao have started to look for areas where they could set up their malls.
New City Commercial Center is owned by the Lim family of Davao City, while Gaisano Mall of Davao belongs to the Davao branch of the Cebu-based Gaisano clan, which dominates retail mall business in the Visayas and Mindanao. “I don’t know yet how much investments they will pour in, but there are indications that they will start next year,” Mr. Rabat said.
Officers of the two companies, he said, have voiced their plans and that investment would come in provided peace and order is maintained. “I assured them that I will do everything to make my town peaceful.”
Mr. Rabat said investors should not worry about peace and order because he is a “friend” of the New People’s Army, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front. “I know that if we want investment, we have to maintain the peace,” he said, although he declined to elaborate how he became “friends” with the rebel groups. Except for the Moro National Liberation Front, which signed an agreement with the government on Sept. 2, 1996, the other rebel groups have continued their struggles although the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has continued talking peace with the government.