Admittedly, during the initial stage of the construction of SM Masinag (across which our village is located), I was all too afraid that the structure might worsen the flooding we were already experiencing within our community during rainy season. Traumatized by appliance repairs we had to deal with. But when SM Masinag was launched in 2011 and rain came, flooding was not as bad as it was the previous years. I recently learned about the water reservoir underneath the SM Masinag structure itself. Apparently, SM Masinag is the first shopping complex in our country that has employed this innovative construction that is designed to absorb floodwaters – all 3,000,000 gallon of it!
A glimpse of our neighborhood a day after Typhoon Ondoy
The water reservoir is said to be as wide as the whole SM Masinag structure itself and two-storeys tall. Leaving me beyond impressed! Right there, SM has earned my respect for caring enough to do something for this community that has practically been more of a catch basin back east way before Ondoy happened. That huge tank can accommodate 15,000 cubic meters of rainwater. And from that holding water tank, the stored rainwater is processed through sewage treatment for reusing in comfort room flushing (explains why the toilet water is not clear), irrigation and grounds maintenance. Any environmentalist will appreciate this as SM moves towards going green. The Earth Hour and Earth Day participation of SM Malls affirm this truth as well.
I have witnessed for myself too how SM Cares Program on Disability Affairs follows through from the special access for PWD, to their deaf and mute employees in their malls, to this particular Farm-to-Market Project for PWD farmers. Take Mang Donald Carpo, for instance. Mang Donald is a member of the janitorial personnel of SM Rosales. He received free training to grow papaya. He later sells what he harvests through SM for his own profit. Before working for SM, he sold tupig to motorists along the highway.
SM has surely gone the extra mile to contribute and make an impact on the lives of people with disabilities (PWD) and their respective families.
SM is also instrumental to the flourishing of local businesses. Like that of the Classic Savory Chicken. I remember back in my college days, my friends and I would have to go to Quiapo to get a taste of their famous Chicken recipe. It was SM’s Tessie Sy-Coson that encouraged Mr. Ramon Tan (direct descendant of the Ting brothers, founders of Savory Chicken) to relaunch Savory in SM. The same is true for Gerry’s Grill, their first mall branch was in SM Pampanga, the proprietor, being a native kapampangan. This paved the way for them to expand their business even as the mall multiplied.
I also had the privilege to witness the 30,000th tree that was officially planted by VIP guests, Ashley and Alodia Gosiengfiao, Sam Concepcion, Ms. Earth Stephany Stefanowitz with the SM Executives last February 20, 2013 within the grounds of SM Baguio. Kudos to SM for keeping to its word! To date, SM Cares has actually planted more than the DENR required. On top of that, other programs including waste management and recycling programs continue to reinforce the cleanliness of not just its mall surroundings but the entire community where SM operates.
Kudos to SM for its contribution to the betterment of our society and being the example that other big companies and corporations should emulate. 😀