MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 17 Oct) – Jollibee Corporation, optimistic of the “very high economic potential” of Bukidnon, opened its fourth store in the province during a blessing here today (Thursday), although it will be open to the public starting Friday.
The drive-thru store is the second Jollibee branch in this city, and also the 800th in the country, according to Ana Aluyen, Jollibee regional business unit head for Mindanao.
The new store here is only 150 meters away from the first, which was opened in 2004, along the same road – Fortich St., the city’s main thoroughfare.
“We are confident in the continuous growth of Malaybalay and the province of Bukidnon,” Aluyen added.
In August, Jollibee also opened a drive-thru store in neighboring Valencia City, situated just a few blocks away from the first store along Sayre Highway corner Laviña Avenue.
The four stores in the province belonged to only one franchisee, Aluyen said.
Jollibee leased the 1,500-square-meter lot from the Tabios family for the fourth store.
Aluyen said they keep a very upbeat and optimistic outlook of the Northern Mindanao market as a gateway to the South.
She cited that the national government poured bigger chunk of its infrastructure budget to Mindanao.
“With that we see a lot of investments pouring in Mindanao,” Aluyen said, even if she admitted that Mindanao is facing a lot of trouble.
Even in times of trouble, she stressed, Jollibee remained optimistic of the Mindanao market.
Aluyen told MindaNews they have already opened six stores in Mindanao this year with two more within the last quarter. Mindanao already has 95 Jollibee stores.
Joseph Tanbuntiong, Jollibee Philippines president, led company officials in the blessing and ribbon cutting ceremonies Thursday.
Vice Mayor Roland Deticio, who joined Tanbuntiong in the rites representing the City of Malaybalay, welcomed the opening of another Jollibee store in the city. “This strengthens the fact that the city is a vibrant economic place,” he said.
He cited the job opportunities and the additional tax revenues the new store would bring to the city.
Aluyen told reporters Jollibee prioritizes its accredited suppliers in the province, especially for easily perishable goods such as poultry and vegetables.
She assured that they follow a strict selection process for suppliers to ensure that only quality products are brought to their store.
The firm cited that Malaybalay is a prime example of a city that’s “teeming in natural resources and cultural heritage.”
A four-member group from the Talaandig tribe performed a tribal beat and dance number after the blessing rites. They also unveiled a commemorative soil painting by Talaandig artists.
Among the guests from different sectors include Bae Inatlawan Adelina Tarino, of the Bukidnon Daraghuyan tribe, and Datu Magdalino Pandian, the indigenous people mandatory representative to the provincial board.