MANILA - A candidate for mayor of Manila believes Manila Bay should be spared from reclamation as the old districts of Binondo and Escolta can be improved to develop the capital.
Manila needs to maximize its limited land space and modernize to "catch up" with other Metro Manila cities that have been constructing commercial hubs, former Manila vice mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso told ANC's Early Edition.
"We don't have to look to Manila Bay to fill the land. Meron na kaming mga lupa at property na puwede namin pagtuunan ng pansin," said Moreno, who is running against incumbent Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada and former mayor Alfredo Lim in the upcoming 2019 elections.
"'Yung buildings along Pasig River in Binondo and Escolta, nagde-deteriorate because walang development," he said.
Moreno said he had suggested "hybrid" city development perspectives from Hong Kong and Singapore that could help modernize Manila without consuming too much space.
Estrada has opted to approve at least 4 Manila Bay reclamation projects to put up new commercial spaces in the city.
"I was told, 'Gawin mo na lang 'yan pag mayor ka na,'" he said.
This push for "innovation" and "innovative leaders" is one of the former actor's platforms for his mayoralty bid.
"Masyado nang napagiiwanan, masyado nang nahuhuli ang Maynila, medyo nalulugmok na kami," he said.
Moreno said he also intends to preserve the Arroceros Forest Park - "Manila's Last Lung" - where Estrada's administration intends to put up a gym for the Unibersidad de Manila.
"'Yan na lang ang nag-iisang area na pinakamaraming puno sa Maynila," Moreno said.
"We should build more breathing spaces and reinvigorate Binondo and Escolta," he said.