Henry Sy

Net Worth: $7.2 billion – As of JUne 2011
Age: 86
Children: 6

Chinese Filipino businessman, Henry Sy, is the richerst person in the Phillippines as of March 2011 with net worth $7.2 Billion, according to Forbes rich list. The richest man in the Philippines came from China as a child to work in father’s convenience store. He is founder of SM Group and chairman of SM Prime Holdings, the largest retailer and shopping mall operator in the Philippines

“He is also the most celebrated KILLER OF TREES and KING OF MASSIVE DEMOLITIONS in Urban Poor areas.”

A Philippine court has halted extension work on a mall amid a public outcry over plans to cut down nearly 200 trees in a popular urban forest.

The court in northern Baguio on Tuesday issued a temporary environmental protection order stopping SM malls, one of the country’s biggest chains, from uprooting the trees in downtown Baguio, known as the city of pines and the Philippines’ summer capital.

SM Prime Holdings Inc. had previously secured permission to expand the existing mall and promised to replant the towering Alnus trees in another location to make room for a new multilevel development.

Environmentalists objected and took to the site at midnight when workers began clearing the land. They have also started online petitions against the tree cutting.


In an extension to the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) filed by our lawyers, Judge Estevez granted an extension which will end until the case is closed….meaning, it will go on and on for life to the trees.

We thank our lawyers Atty Cheryl Chyt L. Daytec, Atty. Cris Donaal, Atty. Janzen Jansen Nacar, Atty. Brenner Bengwayan and Atty. Ryan Solano. Thanks to all volunteers, groups that fought, everyone who helped protested and gave support. This space is not enough if I name them all.

We’ve CUT It All For You

Why do the millions of people who go to SM or buy their condos still buy from them? Because that’s SM’s target market: Lower-Middle income, OFW brackets, while their strategy is extreme expansion to choke out any potential local competition.

Not everyone can afford upper-end malls of Ayala, and there often isn’t any other choice of mall aside from the local SM. Their business plan is sound, perfect for a protectionist economy like PH where foreign investment and opportunity is limited. They can do whatever they want without the threat of multiple competitors.

Good guys? Goodfellas, more like it. Mothballing (earth-balling daw) trees (SM Baguio) and violating zoning regulations (SMDC Blue on Katipunan)…

I am not against development as long as it is built responsibly.

I love SM. In fact, Henry Sy should be a model for “cunning” hard work and diligence. He has an unbelievable story – a poor immigrant who found success which earned him billions here in the Philippines. But, we all have a responsibility to our environment and our country. If we let them abuse our environment then nothing will be left for our future generations. Eco friendly businesses can be very successful in this country. So why cut down the trees?

Before the slogan on SM “We’ve GOT its all for you!…” now after the Baguio incident they change it to… “We’ve CUT it all for you!”

You can just imagine the trend might precede. Malls showing up anywhere in Baguio. It would be a catastrophe!

Malls, Malls, Malls…..

I just would like to share this. SM mall is building another Mall in City of San Fernando Pampanga.

I’m just sad that this mall was built in a Heritage district where Ancestral houses and mansions of Kapampangans are situated and even beside the Cathedral of San Fernando.
Such an eye sore from far away…

I heard they are also planning to open SM Tagaytay?! There are 2 or 3 SM shopping malls in Cavite already. Some of the businessmen in Tagaytay had no choice but to close their shops. 😦

Frankly, I think SM will continue to build their malls but hopefully they will learn a lesson about hypocrisy, REAL Green philosophies and not the pa-green bullshit they spit out, and BETTER architecture and design. HOPEFULLY, but I doubt it.

I heard that this family never lets employees reach 6 months of employment – puro contractual lang gusto – to avoid paying benefits. Any SM Mall salesperson can confirm? I guess it’s true due to strikes in the past.

Is this is the same family that if they like a billboard location (for SMDC), say a billboard located on top of a building, but the building owner won’t let them rent the billboard, they’ll just buy the whole building…? It’s not beyond them…. tsk tsk.

We are only asking SM to be ecologically responsible and to be fair; we are not asking them to close. But if they want to close, so be it – the people survived when there were no malls during my time, we will survive without SM easily.

I’d like to see the Philippine public survive without going to SM for their weekly entertainment.

Forsaken Planet

Here’s the fact: that the environmental situation of our planet is going down to the dogs. A lot of people say “But it’s been that way and continue to be so” (like what many others said about slavery, women suffrage, etc.), but if you’ve been using your brain that God gave you to research and study about it, you know it can be prevented, and we can make our economy more sustainable.

I don’t really get why people are so averse with protesting/”revolution”. If you know your history, you’ll know that protest/revolution/”whining about it” has been the only thing that’s ever delivered concrete change in this world for hundreds of years!

How about we pass a law that would require parents to plant one tree before a newly born child be registered. The way things are going with the RH bill, we will have a jungle in no time. 😀

It is not a question of planting but of maintaining a tree. The rate of cutting and felling a tree surpasses the planting, then all the planting is a waste endeavor.

Actually one suggestion is that we must have a law that requires all elementary or high school students to plant a tree before graduating. Then see to it that if the seedlings live for the next 3-4yrs, special incentives be given to those who planted it.

Here’s the fact… trees were cut & will continue to be cut. Instead of whining about it, why don’t you plant your own? Stop condemning. Start moving. Make your homes greener.

Planting trees aside. We still have the right to”whine” or PROTEST as I’d like to call it.

These aren’t JUST trees. These trees protect the people from landslides. These TREES are part of the ecosystem in Baguio. May TRO na nga, sige pa rin sa pagputol. Kung di lang bundok yan, sige… magputol sila ng wagas. Kaya lang, trees are needed to protect the area from erosion and landslide. Plus factor na lang na Baguio is known for Pine Trees. Safety ang pinag-uusapan dito.


Getting All The Flak

Some would argue: “It’s hard to be successful and famous in this world of ours. SM is doing what all developers are doing but they get flak from it. Same as Apple – its not the only electronics maker that subcontracts in China but they get the brunt of the negative issues that comes with it. People are envious of successful people and we target the most successful. I hope as a people we can stop being envious and become the envy of others.”

The fact is: Envious HAS NOTHING to do with demanding higher standards from big business.  Please define success. If you say money, my answer would be, “No.” It’s about us the people standing up for change! That is a shallow definition of success. If you think all people are envious of money and fame, sorry, but no.

It’s amazing how Mother Nature is bearing the brunt for everyone. If it were just regular people who complained about the unfair treatment they have getting, walang papansin because it’s David vs Goliath. But in this case, it’s Mother Nature stepping forward. I am “awemazed”. There really is karma.

We want to protect our environment and stop greedy companies from having their way!

God’s Gift to the Philippine Economy?

For those who throw the “employment” card vs Anti-SM activists: Bite it. SM is not and never was God’s gift to the Philippine economy. Look at who is making the most money here and how does it trickle down? What’s the quality of jobs that they create AND support? Ethics? Practices? Policies? Carbon footprint? I think they’ll be measured and come wanting. And let’s not pinpoint here. The Ayalas, Gokongweis, Tans, Angs, and ALL others should be taken to task. This should be the beginning of accountability for ALL who take part in the PH economy. In the public and private sphere.

They don’t even regularize their employees. puro 5-month contracts lang. only after such time will they consider to make your employment regular. underpaid mga tao dito. i remember a lot of times during my HS years when a strike would take place inside the store while people were shopping.

‎5 months contract lang and the preferred middle management people are those from a certain Christian denomination.

Unfair Labor Practice? That’s what some these tycoons are good at. Filipinos made them rich but some of them are not giving what they are supposed to give.

The reason behind these 5-month contracts (or even 6) is that the company is trying to evade having to provide their employees with proper benefits, since 6-month contracts will not entitle these employees to receive any benefits. That is basically SM’s “employment” scheme.

It’s all greed and it will keep this nation at it’s current level and status if the PEOPLE don’t start demanding change. So much potential and beauty here, something really needs to be done!

Come to think of it, the megawatt-hours of power that malls consume could have been allotted to power many small businesses and homes instead. The roughly 30% of a mall tenant’s gross income (not net) that is paid to the malls as rent (called royalties) could have been used for a better function. The lowly-paid mall employees could have instead used their skills on a better venue.

SM et al may not be the utopian alternative. However, they are still a better alternative than unemployment. If anyone thinks they are better, try to compete with the existing system then and absorb the employees from these malls.

Malls are expensive because of convenience. But many studies have proven that economy-wise, the best solution is small-time stores. Also, this way, COMPETITION will be brought in (something that makes prices go both up AND down, which is good for the economy, and something that big malls take away, because they have MONOPOLY) The only advantage of big time malls is the good use of space. However, cooperating small-time businesses can solve that.


If SM has the funds for the greenwashing campaign, they should also have the funds for a more ecology-conscious design. Put some money in good values and watch brand love grow.

I’d love to see a list of stores all over the Philippines that’s diverse, fair trade, and has some semblance of conscience. In the provinces the central markets are alive with fresh produce and unique town offerings…

I protest SM Baguio’s defiance of DENRs Temporary Protection Order.


Napatunayan na natin in this age of biblical scale floodings that zero trees equal unnecessary deaths. Lets continue to be vigilant in denouncing SM Baguio’s irresponsible act. Repost in support of Baguio residents who’s protests are being drowned by the mall’s extra loud speakers.

We are growing. We are evolving.

“[SM] already showed their hardened hearts [by defying the law , disregarding the people’s will and destroying the environment] so the boycott must already begin. Do not patronize them. Stay away from them,”- B. Cenzon

SM has not withdrawn its plans to cut/earthball the trees of Luneta hill and has killed 40 trees,

Despite a Temporary Environemntal Protection Order, a 40+ signed petitions, rallies, and the 90% of the people who are against their plans.

The events of the past days also exposed their developments in other places that show their disregard for nature, history and the local culture.

BOYCOTT SM. Everywhere

-until SM will publicly declare that they’ll not harm the 182 trees of luneta hill.
-until sm will publicly declare that they’ll stop the sm baguio mall expansion.
-until sm will declare to respect our cities,
-until sm harmonize with the geography, culture, and history of the local people everywhere.

Members of this group are encouraged to Totally Boycott SM and also raise the awareness of the issues and ask others to join the movement to save the remaining trees of
Baguio City. Luneta Hill. John Hay. Mt Pulag. Long long Trinidad. Mt Sto Tomas.
and everywhere else where SM is doing irresponsible development.

Members in other cities/places are also encourage to be one in solidarity with the movement to BOYCOTT SM. Everywhere.

Alternatives and suggestions are very welcome for discussion. Specially suggestions on how we can make the Boycott more effective.

This group supports the other pages in saving the trees of Baguio and Benguet like

However we are currently taking it one step at a time, Luneta hill for now and Boycotting SM is our way.

Let us adopt a civil discussion and your art 3 sec 4 right is well respected

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Arsenio Reyes
    May 10, 2012 @ 08:11:47

    I just read this article this morning. So many vital, relevant and compelling issues written like accountability, social responsibility and more important justice. Yes, social justice or actual justice to all those employees who have contributed in their small way in making SM a financial success. The owners are rewarded but the employees are discarded.

    I heard and thought all along that the Supreme Court had issued a ruling on the predatory employment malpractice of hiring and firing of employees to evade regularization of employees. The way I understand the SC ruling (I haven’t read it actually if such exist) , if they do that then the cumulative employment periods in the “years” of employment will be added up to such that if the total employment is at least 6 months, Probably many terminated SM employees don’t know the ruling or they find it difficult or inconvenient to complain.

    It’s not only SM. I overheard this issue many times being talked about during work by employees at Jolibee, McDonalds, Puregold and even Shell (convenience stores). And if you frequent these places a lot, you will notice new employees after some time. These business seem to be thriving but some employees are suffering. The rule is a position should be permanent if it is desirable. Desirable means the position is needed in the operations throughout the year and not seasonal. Seasonal is like for example employment during Christmas for a promo like selling ham in supermarkets which is really for a short duration only.

    Even Eli Soriano (Dating Daan) criticizes the evil SM practice saying that the lives of Filipinos will never improve because of it. There is no future for them no matter how they persevere.

    Why is the media, labor groups, government officials, legislators not to keen to zero in on this matter where it will benefit a lot of people. Your guess is as good as mine. Is there a lot of bribery going on. This reminds me the comment of a high government official concerning the Baguio trees. Well, he said, we must choose between development and environment. We know what prompted or motivated him to speak this way during the controversy.

    Corruption is very alive and well in the Philippines and it hurts the most under-privileged and the weakest sector of society. No wonder, God sees all these things and decides justice (see those powerful people on wheelchairs already. Their wealth cannot do anything about it). Some of those to whom he had entrusted wealth, power and authority are no good although not all. I think this is probably the reason why the world will eventually end. God did not entrust the deadline(even to Jesus Christ) maybe because He is still giving counsel and opportunity for change until there is no reason for it anymore such that evil is unstoppable without Divine Intervention. There will be no more miracles since people do not change anyway in spite of those miracles. Even church authorities warn against easily believing in miracles! Why? Some of the messages are against them! Hahaha. So, they make it a general rule,

    The issue is equally or more important than the Corona impeachment.

    Any crusade on this issue? We cannot expect miracles to help the poor. Incompetent as he is perceived to be, the government of Noynoy has still much chance and opportunity to make good his promises especially for the poor. An advertisement on TV said something like “Success does not depend on what you have, it’s what you do with what you have…” At present, Noynoy is what we have and definitely he has power and authority to do good. But he must choose to do good! Sayang eh! Hehehe

    But the clock is running…4 minutes to save the world, 4 years can be 4 minutes.

    “He said unto them, he that has ears to hear, let him hear.” See Mark 4:3-9 (The parable of the Sower).

    Some say the parables are only for those who believe in Jesus. those who do not believe will only be confused.


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