Manila starts extensive cleanup of major roads, center islands » Manila Bulletin News

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By Jaimie Rose Aberia

In the days leading to the country’s hosting of the 31st ASEAN Summit, the city of Manila has started the extensive cleanup of major roads and center islands.

Manila City Hall (Photo by Jacqueline Hernandez)

“It is fortunate that we will be hosting ASEAN Summit at the time we are in the midst of our Urban Renewal Program,” Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said, referring to his ongoing campaign to clean up, repair and restore the city’s famous landmarks, including the cultural heritage sites.

He however said the ASEAN Summit is an opportunity for Manila to show to the world not only the beauty and culture of the city but also the current efforts of the city government to bring back its lost image as Asia’s “Pearl of the Orient.”

As the country’s “show window” to the world, Estrada said the city has to “look good to the eyes of the state leaders and thousands of foreign diplomats and delegates attending the international conference.”

Today, Task Force Manila Cleanup head Che Borromeo led dozens of his men in cleaning the stretch of Roxas Boulevard, UN Avenue, Pedro Gil, Padre Faura, Quirino, Mabini and Del Pilar.

Borromeo said they collected piles of trash and other eyesores along the sidewalks and center islands.

“We will be doing this cleanup every day as ordered by Mayor Erap until the heads of states and VIPs arrive. Of course we have to keep our surroundings clean for the visiting dignitaries,” he said.

Since April, the city government has started its extensive cleanup campaign in preparation for the ASEAN Summit.

Arsenic Lacson, head of the Manila Parks Development Office (MPDO), said the center islands of Roxas Boulevard, Quirino Avenue, Taft Avenue, and Kalaw were spruced up and repainted.

Landscape works were also done along Burgos Street, Rizal Avenue (from Blumentritt to Mendiola), Recto Avenue, and Abad Santos, he added.

“We repainted and repaired damaged plant boxes, and planted new ornamental plants. Most portions of the center islands anyway need only minor repairs since we’ve been maintaining it all year,” the MPDO chief said.

He estimated that the budget for this repainting and renovation works would reach about P60 million.

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