Friday, 11 December 2009

SM pours P180M in Pinoy Center

In recognition of OFWs
Rizal Raoul Reyes
Business Mirror

THE SM group will spend P180 million in building 36 lounge facilities to attract overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families to SM Supermalls.   

In an interview with reporters, Hans Sy, president of SM Prime Holdings Inc., said these facilities, which are called Global Pinoy Centers, are intended to meet the needs of returning OFWs and their dependents when they go shopping.

According to Sy, each center will cost P5 million.

Sy also said providing OFWs and their families with more comfortable facilities is SM’s way of recognizing their contribution to SM’s growth through their continued patronage.

“Whenever I have trips abroad, I was always being asked by foreign investors what drives SM’s growth and I told them it’s because of the remittances of our overseas-based workers,” said Sy during an interview at the sidelines of the opening of the Global Pinoy Center at the SM Mall of Asia.

“After having major involvements in environmental issues, education, empowering the handicapped among others, I asked the people in the group now to focus on the OFWs in recognition for their vital role in enhancing SM’s growth,” Sy said.

As of August 2009, about 2 million OFWs had remitted $12 billion to their families.

SM will build two more Global Pinoy Centers in SM Mega Mall and SM North Edsa this year. It will continue implementing the project in 2010.

Under the plan, each Global Pinoy Center will assist OFWs in finding information on investment opportunities and provide them easier access to the Department of Labor and Employment and other government agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and The Global Pinoy Center will also enable dependents of OFWs to pick up remittances directly from their loved ones even on weekends and holidays.

The Global Pinoy Center will also function as a contact point for the present and former OFWs, balikbayans and their relatives.

As an added incentive, OFWs and their families will be issued Global Pinoy card which will entitle them to avail themselves of discounts and freebies from SM Supermalls and other partner establishments. Furthermore, a card-bearing member will entitle them to privileges such as 20 percent and 15-percent discount tuition discount in Asia-Pacific College and National University, respectively.

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