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Retail Merchants

The retail establishments in Oroquieta City consist mostly of small to medium independent retail merchants. Unlike other big merchants in the Philippines where every facet of their retail establishments is represented and supported by good size corporations, the independent retailers in Oroquieta City is mostly family-owned. Their goal is mainly to sustain their livelihood by continuously selling goods and providing services.

Merchant - DES Appliance Center

As a tradition, businesses in any cities are supported by their individual local Chamber of Commerce. However, the Chamber of Commerce in Oroquieta City is still a developing organization, and as such, it is unable to strongly support all the retailers in the City with the most unique and advance programs to develop a stronghold business community. For that matter, many retail merchants in Oroquieta City have diminished their ability to stay on tract. Therefore, many have lost their businesses and some of them immigrated to foreign countries.

Merchant - East Coast Warehouse Center

From the 1960s to the 1970s many retail establishments in Oroquieta City were booming. Among those were mostly of Chinese origins including Tex Chuan Hong, R.L. Quimsan, Ang's Commercial, Casing Enterprises, Vitamin Bakery, Te Brothers Company, Intsik Mingaw, Intsik Kinga, Pedro and Kiking Tan, and of course, the Sy family who operated the Alex Tavern and Caltex Gasoline Station. Where are they now and whatever happened to their "home-grown" perfect customer service to us, the "die-hard" consumers?

Many of these above-mentioned merchants have passed away and some of them have passed their businesses on to their families. However, some have simply dissipated and some of their surviving families have immigrated to foreign countries, such as the United States. For example, the Te Brothers have immigrated to Chicago and the Tan family are now in New York. On the other hand, there are a few of them who have survived through the many challenging times of their business lives. For example, Tex Chuan Hong is still operating in Oroquieta City, but changed its name to Sincere Marketing. Whatever happened to Ang's Commercial? I remember as a child (if my memory serves me right), we used to buy our clothing materials from Ang's Commercial. Whatever happened to the Lumber Yard in Loboc where most people in Misamis Occidental bought their materials to build their houses?

Because our businesses in Oroquieta City are not properly protected by the laws of the Philippine government, many of them are at risk of extinction. Special emphasis should be directed towards fostering the need to monopolize our "home-grown" products in order to help our local merchants sustain the community life of Oroquieta City. By doing so, the enterprise system in the city will improve whereby helping not only the local economy, but the national economy as well. For that matter, it is important that whenever we think of supporting our city, we must also support the individual businesses in the community. Fair legislative laws to protect our businesses are important to protect them from the corrupting force of any public entities. Taken its toll, the "Super Ferry" that provided a "fast" passenger transport service from Cebu to Dipolog (where many Oroquietanians and Misamisnons have benefited) is now extinct. Many reports have indicated that this is due to the public's corrupting behavior who used the service for a "free ride." How do we expect a business to survive if no revenue is generated because everything is taken for free?

As Filipinos by blood, we must be strong advocates to urge our government leaders to enforce the laws whereby these businesses are properly protected. We need to promote our Chamber of Commerce by helping them strengthen their organization so they can create many programs for community advancement and at the same time protect the businesses in Oroquieta City. Proper taxation is one of the many good examples of good tax reform legislative process where local businesses can survive from the compressed need to meet property tax levied to their businesses. (I urge and challenge everyone to write to our local and national government leaders in the Philippines to lobby for this cause). Such reforms would save the retail industry whereby the system is more equitable for supply and demand.

Ging Mutia


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Saturday, April 19, 2003 (Revised)