Isko Moreno eyes revival of Manila's historic areas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2019 03:23 PM

Isko Moreno eyes revival of Manila's historic areas 1
Mayor Isko Moreno speaks at a proclamation rally in Sampaloc, Manila on March 29, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko" Moreno on Sunday said his tourism, transportation and environmental policies will be anchored on the revival of districts and streets that could remind his constituents of their city's heritage and history. 

During his oath-taking as mayor, Moreno said that Escolta Street, home to the country's first skyscrapers, is often perceived as "a faded glory" while Manila Bay is seen as "a disaster". Meanwhile, the districts of Intramuros and Chinatown, he said, can beat the attractions of malls and modern buildings. 

"Makipagtulungan po tayo sa national government upang buhayin po natin ang lahat ng mga ito (let's cooperate with our national government to revive all these)... We will save, we will preserve, we will protect things that remind us of our past," said the mayor. 

"These will anchor our tourism, transportation and environmental policies, projects in Manila to remind us of our heroes, our history and our heritage."

Moreno said he will declare 2021 as "Visit Manila Year" and implement programs customized to the interests of tourists, who could visit the shopping district of Divisoria, the city's museums and dining spots. 
 
He said he will also rebuild all 47 plazas, parks and playgrounds of Manila. 

"It is time to reclaim them for our children. Para sila at tayo ay may pahingahan, pahanginan at palaruan. Huwag po nating hayaan lumaki ang ating mga anak na ang concept ng open space ay ang lobby lamang ng mga malls," 

(It is time to reclaim them for our children so they and we too could have a place to rest, feel the breeze and play. Let's not allow our children to grow up with their concept of an open space limited to the lobbies of malls.) 

The city, he added, will not sell Arroceros Park. "Hindi po natin ipagpapalit ang mga puno sa kongkreto," he said. 

(We will not exchange trees for concrete.) 

ENDING 'LAW OF JUNGLE' 

Moreno also vowed to "manage traffic systematically" and end "the law of the jungle in our streets." 

He said he will direct the state-run Universidad de Manila and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila to create an institute that will strengthen the traffic system. 

The mayor also promised to set up a modern traffic command center, implement a one-strike policy against corrupt enforcers, and build a city-wide rail system that will be called Manila Sky Shuttle in partnership with the private sector. 

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"We have to dream big. We may be short of funds, but not of ideas. The last thing my administration will be guilty of is poverty of ideas," he said. 

SOCIAL MEDIA AND OPEN GOVERNANCE 

Moreno said an open governance policy "will be the cornerstone of my administration", under which all financial records and transactions will be accessible to the public. 

He said he will also use social media to "crowdsource ideas and implement best practices, punish bad behavior, and reward good performance." 

"Ours will be a grassroots electronic democracy. If we want to win the future and join the league of great cities of the world, we cannot run on the software of the past," he said.