This Association of Amalgamated (meaning united) Supermarkets was born in 1986 with the purpose of establishing rapport and harmonious relationship among operators of supermarkets serving the masses (class B, C, D market) in order to promote and safeguard their interest and that of the consuming public.

It also intends:
  1. To give assistance to members in the procurement of supermarket items at the most favorable terms to enable them to sell to the consuming public at the lowest possible price.
  2. To work closely with the government or its agencies and instrumentalities for the adoption/effective implementation of laws, ordinances, and rules affecting the interest of tis members and the consuming public.
  3. To organize, conduct and carry on any activity whatsoever which is necessary for or incidental for the purposes of the Association.
PAGASA had nine founding members which included Uniwide Sales, RFC Supermart, Cesar's Supermart, Liana's Supermart, and Welcome Supermart to name a few. Through the years, the Association involved itself in various concerns encountered by the supermarket and retail industry. It acted as a springboard for opprotunities offered to the members of this Group. It was a voice in the industry; a lookout for wayward members; a medium for industry info.

Voice in the Industry
Latest statistics show that more than one third of the country's supermarkets are located in Metro Manila. The concentration of supermarkets in the country's premier metropolis is a sign of urbanization in a developing economy. PAGASA today has 116 memberstores and of these, ninety nine are in MetroManila. PAGASA addresses the basic concerns of the industry from issues of great impact like retail trade liberalization and the proliferation of dutyfree stores to topics affecting daytoday operations like the lack of loose change and security measures in supermarketing. Through various discussions, position papers and organized rallies, the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association expresses itself as a voice in the supermarket industry.

A Vehicle for Information for Information in the Industry
Through the Association's quarterly general meetings, as well as emergency meetings when there is a need for them, PAGASA provides a venue for supermarket members to air their concerns and learn from each other. At each PAGASA meeting, through the cooperation and generous effort of each member, vital information regarding industry trends and practices is shared in helping each member develop their own competitive advantage. In between meetings, the PAGASA secretariat informs members by phone/fax regarding supplier updates, latest government rulings, look­outs for rip­offs/new sources of pilferage/dirty deals/stolen goods/wayward promo­disers/hold­ups, and company socials.

A Bridge Between Government and Supermarkets
The Philippine Amalgamated Supermakets Association represents its members in meetings with government agencies such as the DTI, FPA, BIR, MMDA and others. The Association actively participates in these agencies' policy­making in areas affecting the industry. Government campaigns and concerns are taken into consideration in PAGASA's promos. Sales Promos have been made on Consumers Welfare Week as a tie­up between the DTI and PAGASA. The DTI's Consumer Welfare Desks and price monitoring activities are examples where sharing of joint responsibilities between the two parties are very visible. Current concerns of PAGASA that have to do with government revolve around the issues fo retail liberalization and the proliferaton of duty­shops.

Stand on Duty Free Shops
The Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association is totally against the set­up of duty­free shops in special economic zones which open­up sales to the general public ever if on a limited $200 "allocation". These shops provide an uneven playing field because:
  1. They are able to skirt the law and goods sold in these areas find their way to stores outside these zones.
  2. They encourage colonial mentality and the fixated thought that imported items are always better than domestically­manufactured­goods to the detriment of local manufacturers.
  3. They deprive the government of taxes and duties for both the items sold in the special economic zones as well as those sold outside illegally.
  4. They are not well administered by the government agencies as items in these zones are not strictly sold to qualified customers (those residing in Angeles and Olongapo or travellers).
The Association suggest that strict compliance of the guidelines covering these duty­free stores be administered by the government because in the final analysis a few players in the industry will reap great wealth at the expense of those who are left behind in an uneven playing field.
Remember, for every foreign article we buy, duty ­paid or otherwise, we are helping defray the cost of a foreign, and not local manufacturer.

A Look-out for Wayward Members
Just like any other industry association, there will be a few unscrupulous members who may skirt assoctation rules or not tow the line. This Association is fortunate not to have many of these by whenever there are cases of members not honoring Association agreements, PAGASA polices its ranks and acts on such erring members. For when a PAGASA member­store fools its customers or suppliers, the Association is hurt by this and corrective measures have to be taken to rectify such misdeeds.

A Springboard for Opportunities
As the saying goes, knowledge is only potential power. One has to act on such knowledge to gain an advantage. PAGASA, as an organized association of supermarkets, attracts a lot of offers from goods manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, equipment supplier, real estate developers, fellow retailers and many other entities in the various allied services. These opportunities for growth and joint ventures are offered to the members and whoever may be interested, may contact the proponents of such offers. A lot of the merchandise suppliers approach PAGASA to make special offers regarding certain items they may want to push and this redounds to the benefit of both the Association and the buying public.


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