Under the wing of Mayor Isko Moreno, Manila will soon be undertaking different modernization and development programs. These programs aim to address recurring problems such as traffic and flooding in the capital. Just this week, the United States and Singapore sent envoys to Manila City Hall in order to discuss said plans and pledge their help in achieving them.
Singaporean Ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho announced to reporters that Singapore would be sharing their technical expertise in traffic and sewage management as well as digital governance. They even offered to fund a “study trip” to Singapore’s capital in order for the Manila Mayor and his team to learn of their policies and practices.
“We are ready to share. Ask us if you need any help. We have areas of expertise in traffic management, sewages, but you have to see what works for you because you cannot blindly apply,” Ho said. “If you have done something before and it seems to work, and you want to be a good neighbor and friend to your region, isn’t it good to share these things to everyone?”
The US Embassy likewise extended its assistance to Manila’s flood monitoring and prevention program. “I was asked what I wanted to prioritize. Sabi ko, ‘Once and for all, please, study Manila geographically with regard to flooding problems,” Moreno explained. “So that once and for all, magkaroon ng drainage plans, catch basins and everything that will address the problem.”
Moreover, US officials also showed support for Moreno’s vision of turning Manila into a “smart city.” Moreno’s chief of staff, Cesar Chavez, shared: “We were given options by the US Embassy Commercial Section if we want a total design for a smart city or a piece of it. Our inclination is to request for a total design… traffic, solid waste management, flooding, social services.”
The timeline given for the design was for it to be finished in 4-6 months, then its approval may take another 3 months. Implementation is expected by 2020.
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