Cagayan de Oro City skyline. (File photo by Nef Luczon)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The local business expressed optimism Wednesday on the return of the city’s economic stability amid rising inflation rates and the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Henry Siao Dy, president of the Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inc., said the 7.2 percent inflation rate in Northern Mindanao can go lower when local economic activities are stabilized.

"I hope we get momentum now, as we fully recover from the ill effects of the pandemic," he said in an interview.

Dy said the recent passage of two city ordinances that provides tax relief and discounts for real properties and businesses is also a welcome development.

John Oliver Tiu, vice president and head of Mindanao operations of SM Malls, cited the resilience of the tenants as the main reason why their store operations survived.

"We made a difficult decision to grant concessions to tenants, and we do measures (during the height of the pandemic) whatever we saw appropriate," he said.

The SM chain of malls had two locations in the city, Tiu said, adding that they have also acquired a property in Iligan City for development, which would become the third SM mall in the Northern Mindanao region.

Tiu said as businesses resumed operations, their malls also recovered sales nearing the figures they achieved in 2019.

Meanwhile, City Councilor George Goking, chairperson of the Committee on Trade and Commerce, said a hearing was also held Wednesday with business sector representatives to further discuss the tax relief ordinances and measures related to the rising inflation rate.

"Inflation has to do with the law of supply and demand, and one we can think of is planning to provide ways and means for additional revenues," he said.

Goking said price monitoring will continue to prevent overpricing of commodities but job generation and salary increase are also important for employers to consider. (PNA)