(Eagle News) — Manila Mayor “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has ordered the closure of Isetann Cinerama Complex along Recto Avenue in Manila, for violating several city ordinances and for operating “without the necessary business permit.”
Moreno himself served the closure order on Isetann Mall’s management on Wednesday afternoon.
The mayor said that Isetann’s owner, Tri-Union Properties Inc., had been misrepresenting its actual business area. They declared that the mall was only occupying 1,000 square meters with only 10 employees, when in fact the mall area was 20,000 square meters.
“Mukha bang 1,000 square meters ito (Does it look like this is 1,000 square meters?) In fact, this is 20,000 square meters of shopping center,” Moreno said.
“In relation to the multiple leased out stalls and spaces, there is no valid and existing business permit as a lessor. It has a business permit as shopping center valid until December 31, 2019,” he said.
The Manila City government also discovered that only one out of the four operational cinemas inside the mall complex had a business permit.
“In relation to the operational cinemas, there is an existing and valid business permit for only one of the said cinemas operated by Cineworld Cinema, Inc. valid until end of 2019,” Moreno said.
The mayor also found out that the mall’s operator, Trans-Orient Management Services, “has no valid and existing business permit.”
“In the case of Trans-Orient Management Services, Inc., it is operating as a property management service provider without the necessary business permit,” Moreno noted.
The closure of Isetan Mall came amid reports that it continued to sell second-hand cellphones which had been traced as stolen by the Manila City government.
The mayor also noted that more recently, one of the complaints they had received was from the parent of a student who was able to trace a stolen cellphone and found it being sold inside the mall.
In a radio interview, Moreno said that when the student went to the management to complain about this, the student was told not to report the matter to the Manila City government.
Moreno said that Isetann can only reopen after it has complied with all the city ordinances, and other requirements of the Manila City government.