Jul 18, 2019

Good news on the national park front: the new head of the Department of Tourism (DOT)’s National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) is fully committed to restoring Manila’s national parks to their former glory, starting with the 53-hectare Rizal Park as well as the one hectare Paco Park.

“Nurture parks as cradle of nationalism,” said Cecille Lorenzana-Romero at her Jul. 9 oath taking. “I am elated with the opportunity to serve the public under the Duterte administration and there is no ideal place to do it other than the Rizal Park, the site of our national hero’s martyrdom that made Luneta’s hallowed ground the bedrock of patriotism,” she added.

Why is the 53-hectare park so important? Aside from its obvious historic nature, it’s a green oasis that gives kids access to nature. “It’s where our young people, whom Dr. Rizal said are the hope of our Motherland, must have free access to scientific study of the exotic trees and the Philippines’ flora and fauna,” Lorenzana-Romero said. “Ultimately, Rizal Park must remain a true people’s park where Filipino families can commune with nature and have fun.”

She won’t be the first government official to voice out their desire to restore the historic park this month. Manila mayor Isko Moreno has also been incredibly outspoken about transforming the park, and Manila as a whole, for the better. During his first week on the term, he set out a city-wide clean up, giving Manila its “long-awaited bath.” He’s also stated that he plans on building a civic center for Manila residents, which will include “new and green City Hall Building and full pedestrian connectivity with intermodal connections to the LRT station and planned pedestrian and bike grade-separated links to Rizal Park to the south and all the way to the Escolta on the north.”

For her part, Lorenzana-Romero has said that she welcomes Moreno’s initiatives. “We should not waste time cleaning it up and make it environmentally sustainable, safe and secure as it was in its glorious days,” she said.

This obviously isn’t the first time that public officials have expressed a sentiment like this, so we’re not getting our hopes up too much. Still, here’s to hoping that we’re going to see a better Rizal Park (and Manila) soon.


Featured photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

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TAGS: Cecille Lorenzana-Romero isko moreno National Parks Development Committee nolisoli.ph rizal park