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NOV (28-30) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
HOME » TACLOBAN NEWS

BREAKING NEWS / TACLOBAN REGION

>>> NOV (28-30) 2008 <<<

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Nov 30, 2008

Two ways to mainstream East Visayas to the tourism highway

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- There are two reasons why Eastern Visayas is lagging behind Cebu, Bohol and other tourism destinations in the Visayas, Presidential Assistant Cynthia Nierras said.

Speaking before a crowd gathered for the Opening Program of the DOLE Service Caravan on Friday, Novermber 28, PA Nierras said she has analyzed the reasons and she found that there are only two.

The first she said is the lack of convention hotels that could accommodate national conventions. This, PA Nierras said, would soon be solved with the Province of Leyte taking over from the Philippine Tourism Authority, the management of MacArthur Park Beach Resort.

Governor Petilla has good plans to upgrade the hotel, PA Nierras said. Very soon, the Robinsons Hotel will also be constructed, the good presidential assistant said. These will solve the number one stumbling block to the development of the Region's tourism industry.

The second is to prepare the community to receive tourists. Tourism industry is an experience industry. Whatever good the visitors experience will make them want to come back again and even to encourage their families and friends to visit the same place.

However, if the tourists feel that they are not treated well in a certain place, if at they airport, they are charged with exorbitant transport fares right at the airport, the sad experience will make him never to come back again, PA Nierras added.

PA Nierras said that Region 8 has many beautiful tourist spots, many times more, than other destinations in the Central Visayas Super Region. Every province in Region 8 has destinations to show and to be proud of. But why is it that it is lagging behind in tourism development?

PA Nierras said that one of these days she will talk with the Department of Tourism in the Region and see where she could help in order to fast track the development of the tourism industry in the Region.

Tourism is an industry that generates many employment opportunities for the workers, and for the investors and businessmen, PA Nierras said. She believes that by developing the tourism industry, the Region will at the same time solve the poverty incidence and upgrade the economic standing of the populace.






Nov 29, 2008

Gaisano Central Mall held soft opening yesterday

By Sarwell Q. Meniano & Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Gaisano Central Mall officially opened for business as it held yesterday its soft opening, pinning high hopes that mall business will keep booming despite of the global financial crisis.

Gaisano Group of Companies Vice President for lease operation Jade Gaisano said that its 25 stalls open for lease are now all occupied. But during yesterday's initial opening, some of the tenants failed to do business as their stalls have yet to be completed.

"We are looking forward to open the third floor before Christmas," Gaisano said in a media interview.
The third floor will be shops for school supplies, children's department, and ladies acessories, among others. The Gaisano-owned supermarket and department store occupy the first and second levels, respectively.

"I believe that no matter what's the economic scenario that we have right now, people will still want to buy what is affordable and that's what's we offer to the people," Gaisano stressed.

"I think we will always be the first choice for the market because what we offer are affordable but quality goods, "she added.

The mall official declined to reveal the amount of their investment for Tacloban. The company's president, Henry Gaisano, was not able to make it to the soft opening as earlier planned.

The first ever shopping mall of the city is located at the old Republic Theater four-hectare lot along Justice Romualdez Street. It is open from 8 a.m. up to 9 p.m.

Present during the blessing and inauguration of the city's first ever shopping mall were City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and wife Councilor Cristina Gonzales- Romualdez and Leyte Vice Governor Mimiette Bagulaya.

It was learned that aside from Tacloban, the company is also building shopping malls in Iligan, Panabo, Dipolog, Koronadal, Pagadian, Dumaguete, Digos and San Jose, Antique.

The main branch of the country's third largest mall operator is found in Cebu City.

The Gaisano Department Store located at the city's shopping center just few meters away from the new mall, has been operating for about 20 years now. It's been the busiest shopping store in the city.

The existing Gaisano store will remain in operation considering that the 25-year lease contract at the local government-owned shopping center had not yet ended.

Within the first quarter of 2009, Robinson's Place will also open its mid-sized mall. The construction was reportedly delayed due to heavy rains in the past months, said City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

The opening of the Gaisano Mall in the city, the city mayor added, not only helps generate funds for the city in terms of sales tax but, more importantly, generate employment.

"To me, (job) generation is the most important," Romualdez said, referring to the benefits the city and its immediate environs on the opening of the first mall of Tacloban.

The operation of the Gaisano Mall immediately generated an employment of about 1,000.

The city mayor added that with the opening of the Gaisano shopping mall, his drive for the reclassification of Tacloban into a highly urbanized city has been boosted.

Presently, the city mayor said that there are more than 13,000 business establishments in the city. "The number would greatly increase once investments that follow urbanization would start to flow in," Romualdez added.

The city's chief executive said that big investments will trigger healthier competition but it won't affect the small businessmen.






Nov 29, 2008

Mayor Romualdez allays fear of MCH phase out after HUC

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Motorcabs-for hire (MCH) will continue to exist even if Tacloban will become a highly-urbanized city (HUC).

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez made this assurance amid circulating rumors that the city government is bent on banning MCHs from plying the Downtown area once the city becomes an HUC.

Speaking before a thousand MCH drivers and operators during a Seminar on Traffic Rules and Regulations held at the Kanhuraw Convention Center on Thursday, November 27, the city chief executive made it clear that he has no such plan as phasing out MCHs.

"Ikaklaro ko sa inyong lahat, na wala akong plano na iphaseout ang mga MCH. Ano, palalakarin natin ang mga tao? Papaano yung mga senior citizens? Mga kabataan? Magagalit ang maramimg tao sa akin sa panahon na gawin ko yan," Mayor Romualdez said.

He stressed that the rumors are just "scare tactics" being circulated by those opposing the bid of the city to become an HUC.

"Sinasabi ng iba dyan na pag-HUC na ang isang syudad, wala nang mga MCHs na pinapaoperate. Huwag kayong makinig dyan. Pananakot lang yan na walang katotohan. Tingnan mo sa syudad ng Cagayan de Oro, na isang HUC rin, makikita mo na andyan pa rin namamasada and mga MCHs. Hangga't ako pa ang inyong mayor at andyan pa si Konsehala Cristina sa Sangguniang Panglungsod, hindi mangyayari and pagpiphase-out ng mga MCH," he added.

Meantime, in the same seminar, the mayor pledged his continued support to the MCH drivers and operators and urged them to report abuses committed on the part of officials and traffic enforcers.

"Kung mayroon kayong mga problema, kung mayroon mga opisyal o mga traffic enforcers dito sa syudad na nang-aabuso, punta kayo sa aking opisina at isumbong yan para maaksyunan natin agad," the mayor said.






Nov 28, 2008

Gaisano Central Mall holds soft opening in Tacloban City today

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The much-awaited commercial center in this city will now turn to reality as Gaisano Central Mall will hold a soft opening today at the city's downtown, making it the first operating mall in Leyte.

In a letter, Gaisano Capital operations manager Richard Villejo said that the opening will kick off with a store blessing and thanksgiving that will be graced by the company's president Henry Gaisano. Celebrity guests are Melissa Ricks and Jon Avila.

The newest Gaisano mall is located at the former Republic Theater four-hectare lot next to Bank of the Philippine Island at Justice Romualdez Street.

The event will coincide with the opening of KFC restaurant built inside the store. The corporation is based in Louisville, Kentucky, known to be the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain. It will be their first branch in Eastern Visayas.

The Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, revealed that Gaisano Group of Companies are now building malls in Iligan City, Panabo City, Dipolog City, Koronadal City, Pagadian City, Dumaguete City, Digos City and San Jose, Antique.

The Gaisano Department Store located at the city's shopping center just few meters away from the new mall, has been operating for about 20 years now. It's been the busiest shopping store in the city.

Within the first quarter of 2009, Robinson's Place will also open its mid-sized mall. The construction was reportedly delayed due to heavy rains in the past months, said Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
"In addition, it would not be farfetched that Shoemart (SM) would follow the lead of Robinsons and Gaisano and put up its own mall here," he said in earlier interviews.

Presently, the city mayor said that there are more than 13,000 business establishments in the city. "The number would greatly increase once investments that follow urbanization would start to flow in," Romualdez added.

The city's chief executive said that big investments will trigger healthier competition but it won't affect the small businessmen.

Wilsam Uptown Mall in Borongan City, Eastern Visayas is the only existing shopping mall in Region 8. However it will be displaced by Gaisano Central and Robinson's Tacloban as the biggest.






Nov 28, 2008

KFC Gaisano Central Mall Tacloban now open

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Famous Chicken Restaurant KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) will open up today its first branch in Eastern Visayas at the new Gaisano Central Mall within the city's downtown.

KFC Area Manager Tess Gajudo said that the good market in the city had encouraged them to set up a store in the province that coincides with the opening of Gaisano.

"We checked the area and we found out that the city is developing. We're hoping that KFC will have a better chance here in Tacloban," Gajudo, who heads KFC restaurants in Leyte, Cebu and Bohol, said.

The restaurant chain will set up another branch in Robinson's Place Tacloban in Marasbaras area on March 2009.

"We're very excited because this is the first time. We want to be part of the city's development," she added.

In its initial operation, KFC offers products like fried chicken, crispy strips, chicken steak, Mongolian rice bowl, burger, chik'n fillet, snack box, go-go, spaghetti, hot wings, famous bowl, mashed potato, coleslaw, fries, brownies and choco mousse.

"We are offering lots of foods of different varieties that would draw interest of Filipinos," Gajudo told Leyte Samar Daily Express.

KFC will tap suppliers from Tacloban and Cebu in their operation. To ensure the taste and quality, all products will be checked by quality assurance staff. The company will have to look for local vegetable suppliers that would meet the standard.

The 138-seater food chain has 28 workers all from the region. One assistant manager is from Tacloban.
The store blessing last night was graced by KFC Vice President Jojo Marcelo, Gaisano President Henry Gaisano, City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, suppliers and other local officials. It was followed with fireworks display.

This morning, the chain restaurant will hold a motorcade. A free regular Pepsi will be given to customers with minimum of P150 food purchase.

The opening day will be highlighted with "Meet and Greet" of favorite players of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Teams of Air 21 Express and Tender Juicy Giants in the afternoon.

Currently, KFC has 160 stores nationwide. Next year, the food chain will be opening six more stores in Cebu, Leyte, and Davao. "We're looking at 20% increase of our sales in 2009," Gajudo added.

"Global economic crisis is already here but we're not affected as long as the food is of good quality."
KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain, specializing in original recipe, extra crispy, twister and Colonel's Crispy Strips, and chicken with homestyle sides.

The company's website reported that nearly eight million customers daily are served around the world in over 11,000 restaurants in more than 80 countries and territories around the world.






Nov 28, 2008

Unidentified woman abducts baby girl from EVRMC ward

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- A five day old baby girl was practically abducted right in front of her mother inside the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center Thursday morning.

Dolly Casio, information officer of the EVRMC, said that the baby-taking incident has "shocked and alarmed" hospital officials reason why they have to "modify" their present security measures.

Based on the information of Casio, the incident took place around 3:30 a.m. while the mother of the baby was sleeping at the maternity ward of the EVRMC, the biggest government-run hospital.

Based on their investigation, the woman who took the baby passed herself as a relative of her husband and engaged her to a conversation. She also claimed to be a resident of Quezon Boulevard (sea wall area), where the mother of the victim resides.

And around one in the morning, after the mother breast-fed the baby, the suspect brought the baby to the neo-natal intensive area unit to bathe the baby.

"There were nurses at that time and they asked her why she brought the baby to the neo-natal intensive care unit at that very early time. The woman, who was around 5"5' in height and of medium built, moved back," Casio said.

The suspect went outside the hospital bringing with her the baby. A security guard, who was on duty, asked the suspect why she was going out of the hospital with the baby without any exit pass.

"She claimed that the baby had a twin who died. The guard on duty allowed her to leave the hospital," Casio said. "This is the first time that we have this kind of incident," she said.

The mother, identified as Rizalina Tabuac, 28, discovered her baby was already gone when she woke up. This prompted her to ask the security guards of the hospital.

Accompanied by security guards, they went to the police station to report the incident. The case is being handled by SPO2 Concas Castillo.

Azucena Tabuac, 63, mother of the victim, said that her daughter does not know the woman. "My son-in-law does not know any Jennifer," she said, referring to the name of the suspect.

The mother, who still remains at the hospital, was still in shock, the elder Tabuac said.

Her daughter and her husband, Benjamin, stayed at Tabuac's house in Quezon Boulevard since April after they left their house in Barangay Mawud-pawod, San Miguel town.

The baby abducted by still unidentified suspect was the third child of the couple.




    
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