Governor Aris Aumentado has assured that the country’s top mall operators are welcome to do business in Bohol after years of speculation that pushback from the government and local industry players hampered their entry into the province.
Aumentado, in an interview over station DYRD, said investors such as the Sy-led property giant SM Prime Holdings Inc. and the Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) will help generate jobs for residents in the growing province.
“Ako silang giingnan na open gyud ang Bohol para ninyo. Kay kami kinahanglanon pud namo og investors like you kay nagkadaghan ang taw sa Bohol pero way trabaho pero way klaro ang investors. So kinahanglan ta og bagong players,” said Aumentado.
Without elaborating on details, Aumentado said the SM group will be opening an establishment in Tagbilaran City soon.
“Na confirm na ni namo sa pakighinabi sa taga na nakakuha na sila og yuta dinhi sa Tagbilaran. Di sa nako e-disclose og asa, basta ang SM most likely mo sud na sila,” he said.
Meanwhile, Aumentado advised RRHI to consider opening in the outskirts of the city or the adjacent towns where they will likely find bigger pieces of land.
The move is also projected to help push development into the outlying municipalities paving the way for the creation of a metropolis covering Tagbilaran City and its neighboring localities.
“Ilahang [RRHI] tan-awon ang mga areas outside sa Tagbilaran kay mao may akong gi-suggest nila ug kami maningkamot pud mi na maghimo gyud og Metro Tagbilaran,” said Aumentado.
The governor doused speculations that national mall operators have not been able to open in Bohol due to the lobbying of local industry players against their entry.
Aumentado explained that there are no SM and Robinsons malls in the province yet due to the lack of a large enough property to accommodate the establishments in Tagbilaran City, the province’s capital and lone city.
Based on comments made by netizens over the years which have been reviewed by the Chronicle, the ability to draw in big investors particularly those in the retail industry is among the top considerations of the public in voting for a candidate.
After Aumentado’s landslide victory against former governor Art Yap, many have pinned their hopes on him to finally pave the way for the entry of SM, Robinsons and other retail giants.