Manila Mayor Isko Moreno presented his vision of Manila as a ‘Green city’ to a meeting at city hall last July 30. The plans begin with the expansion of Arroceros Park, the so-called last lung of the city. With no specific details involved, Moreno also spoke about building 1,600 more hectares of green space around the city.
LOOK: Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso presents to environmentalists a pilot project to turn Manila into a “green…
The first step in building a greener Manila is converting the space around the park into green areas. Moreno explains: “I will withdraw a portion of Arroceros street for public use, then we will extend Arroceros Park. We are going to create an esplanade at the back of Arroceros. You will see the pilot of a green city in Lawton.” It is specifically the streets at the corner of the Quezon footbridge which will be closed.
Additionally, Moreno talked of plans to remove the gates to the park. For him, “I’ve always believed in an open park. Ang park hindi naka-preso.” While he recognizes that the problems of safety and informal settlers may still threaten them, “the solution is not to gate it but to put security and enough people to maintain and sustain the purpose of the park.”
While he has already rejected proposals to convert the park into a gym for the schools of Manila, Moreno stated that he drew the line at the demolition of the Department of Education building. He warned environmental groups: “Don’t ask for things you do not know how to solve. If you have a property where they can transfer then I can build a new building and relocate them there. In the meantime, we have to live in harmony in the area.”
Still, he remains steadfast in his vision for a cleaner and greener Manila. Moreno expects the city’s remaining 46 parks and institutional buildings to follow in the same vein. He promised: “If your concern is clean air, you are with the right government.”
What more do you think can be done to make Manila ‘greener’?