Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SM, a Carebear?

I guess you all know that I hate the SM Group. I hate how SM abuses its suppliers and tenants. I hate the recent developments in BDO. On the other hand, I love Mall of Asia. I love Megamall. I love The Block at North Edsa. I love The Podium. I love some of BDO's services. But I simply hate SM for enjoying the luxury of doing business at the expense of others.

Nevertheless, they exert some effort in showing how they care for certain sectors of society. And just for that, I can say that I admire SM... well, just a bit.


Again, from the Autism Society of the Philippines...


In an Inquirer interview published 22nd of July this year, Ms. Liza Silerio, SM AVP for Operations, recalled how an encounter of their mall guard with an autistic boy in SM Megamall four years ago taught them how to take better care of their special customers.



Ms. Annie Garcia, SM President, on that same interview said "The mall should provide a safe environment, especially in a country where it plays a big part in everyday life".


After said incident, SM consulted various organizations in the disability sector, including Autism Society Philippines, and came up with a series of seminars on creating a non-handicapping environment. SM Management plans to run this program every six months, primarily for their frontliners.

And since 2004, ASP has been consistently invited by SM Management to educate their management, tenants, staff, security guards and janitors on how to recognize mall customers with autism, and how to handle them.



This year, ASP had been to SM Malls in Sta. Mesa, Valenzuela, Pasig, North EDSA, Manila, Sucat, Bicutan, Las Piñas and Fairview, as well as in Podium, reaching out to around 1,600 participants.


Hats off to SM for such great effort in providing special concern for special people. But I'm still a bit troubled.

With BDO, that is. Now that SM has set up shop in practically every major Philippine city, their malls have nowhere to expand. And the SM Group would most likely pour in all their funds into BDO's dominance, which will certainly hurt more businesses and our economy. They now control the banks, they practically control the ATM consortium Megalink, and with their acquisition of the giant card issuer Equitable Card Network, and just recently, the local American Express units, I can really smell danger.

7 comments:

Ary said...

On some parts , I think SM is really (nth times) exerting effort in making things easier through installing a lot of their convenient stores (malls) in all major cities in the country..It just saves time and money..;p

janettetoral.com said...

I think that is why the Ayala's are now going out of Makati to provide competition.

kegler747 said...

It's a wait and see situation...

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