Bringing Pride March to Manila isn’t the only thing newly-sworn Mayor Isko Moreno is keen on doing as he assumes office.
During his oath-taking this Sunday, Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso expressed plans to revive Manila’s historic areas—from Escolta to Divisoria.
He said much has to be done to restore Escolta, where the country’s first skyscrapers once stood, to its former glory, as well as the Manila Bay which is seen as a “disaster.”
“Makipagtulungan po tayo sa national government upang buhayin ang lahat ng mga ito. We will save, we will preserve, we will protect things that remind us of our past,” the 44-year old mayor said.
He cited the potential of Intramuros and the historic Chinatown, which according to him, has features to rival that of malls.
Divisoria, on the other hand, said Domagoso, can be a tourist destination given the right tourism programs. By 2021, all these areas will be revived in time of his proposed “Visit Manila” Year.
Domagoso, who immediately after being elected assured citizens that the city’s last lung Arroceros Forest Park will not be compromised to give way to a gym, also eyes rehabilitating 47 public recreational parks.
He said this is part of his efforts to reclaim free public spaces, especially where children can grow instead of commercial spaces like malls.
“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,” he said.
Of his ambitious plans for Manila, the mayor said, “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.”
IN PHOTOS: Centuries-old church artifacts fill three-story Museo de Intramuros
PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA