Short-sightedness PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 August 2016 14:20

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Los Angeles, CA. — The long-stalled SM and Robinson’s shopping malls might finally come in the clear, but only if the owners of the properties these giant retailers are eyeing agree to the buying price. It took Chinese-controlled KCC mall all of three years to be built that has changed the consumer-spending configuration of Zamboanga. KCC no doubt has lunged into the hearts of other grocery stores, supermarkets and even the two wet markets drastically bringing down their profits by at least 50 percent.

Because the sub-giant KCC is Zamboanga’s first, the city government should have foreseen the chaotic traffic such mall would bring and, therefore, should have imposed certain demands from the owners that would streamline traffic. Short-sightedness and bad planning immensely contributed to the now horrific traffic in Canelar, Gov. Camins, Sta. Maria, and Nunez extension. And why did the city government allow vehicles to make a u-turn in front of KFC for west-bound public vehicles? Susmariajosep, the traffic mess that it has created is giving motorists chest pains, hypertension and migraine. Someone should bring this matter to court for relief. Why isn’t there no clear-cut traffic ordinance to correct this pestering irregularity?

The city government improperly allowed KCC to build a four-story shopping mall with basement parking (which is good) in a spot where such structures are supposed to be logically 30-40 feet away from the main road so that enough breathing space is allowed for vehicles and pedestrians, especially the annoying, smoke-belching tricycles and diesel-fueled passenger jeepneys.

Holly camote. The city engaged in what is termed as “sham environmental review process” that gave KCC the authority to impose its own traffic regulations. It’s time for the city council to amend, or even abolish, the traffic code of the city because it is riddled with violations that shock the mind of the people — shoppers, pedestrians, motorists.

The damage has been done. KCC is our first harrowing experience in traffic. If SM, Robinson’s and Puregold remain optimistic and committed to build their giant malls on the same avenue (Nunez ext.), the executive department and the city council should confer to determine the best approach to demand these three giant retailers to provide the infrastructure (road expansion) to ease expected traffic congestion. Otherwise, no dice. The next rich guy who comes to town with a billion-peso investment should conform with our regulations.

We have speculated enough about giant malls being built in Zamboanga. The rumors are far being true. If they do come, Zamboanga will be hosting four giant retailers at the same time. That’s surely going to crush the retail business. At the moment with Zamboanga’s GDP, we can afford to sustain only one mall. Very glaring is the fact that KCC makes a lot of money from its grocery section where almost every item is cheaper compared to other supermarkets be they meat, fish, vegetables, rice, eggs and canned goods. It makes money, too, on rentals. That’s it. It’s department store can’t sell as much as OK Bazaar, Shop-o-Rama, or the Shoppers’ chain of stores. If and when SM, Robinson’s and Puregold hit town, consumers will split — depending on location, traffic and price.

Zamboanguenos are poor spenders. We can’t eat out all the time, or spend a thousand pesos for groceries every week. That’s way too much over our spending limits. Little by little, the crowd at KCC will decimate and Guardia Nacional will be in a happy mood again.