IS GMALL SAFE?

Clearance to operate questioned online

Gaisano Mall of Davao’s public advisory stating it is cleared to operate by the city government of Davao through the Office of the City Building Official (OCBO) has elicited some questions online posted by netizens.

Admitted even by rivals as the downtown shopping center with the biggest foot traffic, GMall was placed under inspection by the OCBO after it sustained cracks following the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that recently jolted some parts of southern  and central Mindanao including Davao City.

GMall’s management posted on its Facebook page that as of Dec. 17, 2019, the city government of Davao has declared the shopping mall safe for its tenants and mall goers and was cleared for operation.

The mall said it ensures that safety is its top priority for its customers and employees. It also declared business as usual and will be open for the holidays with regular hours at 10:00AM to 10:00PM and until 12 midnight from Dec. 20 to 23.

During the inspection, OCBO engineers found major wall cracks at the eco 5 fire exit to cinema’s fire exit, one bracket main duct had collapsed, and cracks along seismic gap. Based on this, the OCBO recommended some restrictions but issued a lawful occupancy permit.

The restrictions cover the entry to the upper ground floor common hallway near McDonalds going to cinema’s fire exit, seismic gap portion at the peak and eco5 fire exit.

The post, however, generated concerns from Dabawenyos online.

Some of the netizens’ reactions are as follows:

“what is RESTRICTED???? LIMITED.. NOT ALL AREAS ARE SAFE.”

“just make sure that what you posted is really true… after owners will not be the prime victims if in case untoward incident will happen. Do not cover the truth… if you say so that you are cleared then so be it but if not then fix all the damages and goes for a temporary closure…for everybody’s welfare…i went to your mall last monday and i discovered lots of crack tiles somewhere in the hair accessories section which you only covered with black carpet or whatever you call it.”

“Gaisano Mall of Davao (GMALL) naa bay proof sir/ma’am nga gikan sa City Government nga clearance to operate? :)”

Edge Davao sent a message to GMall’s Facebook page to inquire on the advisory and get its reaction after attempts to call its office went futile. GMall’s FB page administrator however told Edge Davao that “the city government has found only superficial cracks which do not compromise the structural integrity of the building and that the management has immediately began repairs to these cracks upon seeing them.”

GMall of Davao is considered one of the largest malls in Davao City with six levels of retail shops, arcades, food hall, eight cinema theaters. It also runs popular entertainment and lifestyle hub The Peak, located at the top of the mall and frequented by thousands of customers daily.

During the tremor, some mallgoers evacuated and exited the establishment in panic.