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The Pasay City and SM Mall of Asia launched an outdoor food market to help restaurant owners, those workers who were laid off, and to revive the local economy, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano led the launching of “PasaYahin, BuYummYhan,” an outdoor food market at the North Foundation, SM By the Bay in collaboration with the Restaurant Owners of the Philippines (RestoPH) and assisted by Mercato Centrale and Globe Telecom.

The outdoor food market features top food merchants including popular SM Mall of Asia/SM By the Bay restaurants, home-based and online Pasay entrepreneurs and members of the Pasay City cooperative who lost their jobs during the pandemic – including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), cruise ship workers, and food and beverage industry employees.

SM Supermalls president, Steven Tan, said, “Together with our partners and affiliates, SM recognizes the need to slowly restart and rebuild the economy, and especially understands the plight of our small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). With that, we are more than happy to have these safe and socially-distanced activities that remind everyone of the joy of the season, as well as bring hope during these unprecedented times.”

Rubiano, for her part, reminded market goers that as the city celebrates its 157th founding anniversary, Pasayenos must remain vigilant against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) while dining outdoors by employing the localized “EMI” habit of Pasay – Ensure that you always wash your hands, Mask is a must, and Implement Physical Distancing.

RestoPH president, Eric Teng, cited that the restaurant industry was one of hardest hit by the pandemic.

“But just because we aren’t doing well, it doesn’t mean that we can’t do good. We choose to do good with our partner-collaborators. We want this market to be one of the hallmark activities of our group to continue every month until we get back on our feet,” Teng said.

GoNegosyo senior adviser, Gingay Hontiveros-Malvar said, “COVID has allowed us to evaluate our businesses and become more resourceful as we adapt for the better. In previous times, it could have been all about competition in the restaurant business. But now it’s all about reaching out to support each other’s business – complementation and collaboration instead of competition. BuYummYhan is a much-needed platform for our food industry shareholders – SMEs, the producers and the farmers – so they can once again restart their lives and for businesses to move forward.”

Department of Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat and Assistant Secretary Verna Buensuceso also graced the event. Puyat said that “this outdoor event is a welcome sign that the country has entered a new phase – the start of the economic recovery and the restart of domestic tourism. The tourism and food and beverage industries were badly hit even as these industries have restarted under strict safety protocols. It continues to be a challenge to get customers to dine out and return to their favorite restaurants and food haunts.”

Puyat added that “BuYummYhan addresses both concerns – to help struggling restaurants and small food entrepreneurs but more importantly it provides an enjoyable, safe, and physically-distanced environment for guests to dine in.”

“It’s a breezy outdoor venue following Inter-Agency Task Force protocols where guests are offered a smorgasbord of food discoveries along with the sunset view and the fireworks show,” Puyat said.

Vanessa Pastor-Ledesma, president of Mercato Centrale said, “We look forward to working with SM Supermalls in bringing more outdoor markets to SM Mall locations so we can help food vendors and restaurants get back on their feet one dish at a time.”

The “PasaYahin, BuYummYhan” outdoor food market is open daily from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.  

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