Despite its elevated location, Baguio City is one of the places in the country that gets the highest amount of rain and puts lives and properties at risk of flooding. In 2018, tropical storm Ompong left the city submerged, and in 2021, severe Tropical Storm Maring dumped 625.5 millimeter of rain more than a month’s worth in a 24-hr period. More recent atmospheric uniqueness tells us that more will come.
SM Prime Holdings, the country’s largest integrated property developer, is no stranger to massive flooding. In a country visited by an average of 20 typhoons a year. It recognizes the devastation that flooding causes, the lives it puts at risk, and the overall potential danger which has become critical considerations for any of its new property developments.
To help mitigate a flooding disaster in communities where SM Supermalls are located, SM Prime builds enormous “catchment tanks” underneath its malls.
At SM City Baguio, the rainwater catchment is located at the lowest level of the parking building. The tank occupies approximately 3,159 square meters or twice the size of the Baguio City Botanical Garden. It has a capacity to hold 6,390 cubic meters of water, equivalent to two and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools.
More importantly, SM City Baguio’s rainwater catchment can alleviate concerns caused by heavy rains on the city drainage system. It serves as a holding tank that lessens the load of water passing through the drainage, aiding in flood prevention and avoids soil erosion by reducing water run-off.
Apart from supporting disaster resilience, the catchment also reduces the mall’s dependence on the city’s water table. The collected water can be used to sustain the green roof and other vegetation around the mall. It can also be used by the city for emergency response in the event of a fire.
Today, there are 22 SM Supermalls that are built with catchment tanks which can hold a combined 79,880 cubic meters of rainwater or about 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“By investing in resilience, SM Prime minimizes vulnerability, better safeguards physical assets, reduces recovery expenses, and contributes to local government efforts. Ultimately, we are able to better protect lives and have safer, healthier, happier communities,” Hans T. Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime said.
SM Prime continues to lead the country’s private sector in advocating disaster resilience and business continuity. As more malls open under SM Prime, it will continue to innovate on its sustainability approaches, disaster resilience initiatives, and corporate social responsibilities.