Manila Makeover with “Yorme”

by Harvey Llamosa
Spread the love

“Manila, I keep coming back to Manila. Simply no place like Manila. Manila, I’m coming home!” That’s the famous line from the song “Manila” by the hit 70’s band Hotdog.  It simply showed how people fell in love with the City of Manila, once considered as Paris of the East.

But nearly five decades after, the opposite happened. Manila has been tagged as the 3rd among the cities with the lowest quality of life, according to a study released by Deutsche Bank this year.

It is ironic that while we should be in the road to progress, from the martial law era and even after that regime, Manila’s central business districts like Escolta even regressed and deteriorated.

“Also contributing to the city deterioration was increasing population density, pollution, flooding, urban poor/squatters, traffic congestion, vehicles, violations of the provisions of the Building Code, zone ordinances, city ordinances, problems in garbage generation, collection and disposal, obstructions on roadways, sidewalks/side yards, social evils, and corruption and cronyism,” shared by a Manila citizen Rafael Rueda Jr. in a column published by Philippine Star.

During the 2019 Elections, Manileños saw a beacon of hope with the candidacy of former Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, an actor-turned-politician who is a true blooded Manileno who came from the slums and rose from the ranks to become the city’s promising young politician or better yet, public servant.

His election slogan, “Bagong Maynila”, his narrative, is real. He was born and raised in the district of Tondo, a kid who used to be a garbage collector to live. His background, and more importantly his vision for the city, created an impact and made him won the hearts and votes of the citizens of Manila. Even the US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim described him as a “total rockstar” because of his leadership style and charisma to the people.

During his first month in the office, he is lauded by Filipinos, not just those from Manila, because of his real political will and strict implementation of the law.

In his first week, his administration cleaned and cleared the clogged areas in Manila’s major locations like Divisoria, Quiapo, Recto, and Lawton. Up to this day, Moreno’s administration was able to sustain the clearing operations on those areas, an act that wasn’t done by previous administrations.

Major streets in Divisoria drastically changed during the 1st week of Mayor Isko Moreno (Photo from ABS-CBN News)

“I love how he made the streets clean and administered discipline amongst the citizens. While I’m happy that the streets seem cleaner and safer, Mayor Isko’s treatment towards the vendors who are also Manileños could be improved upon,” said Nat, a Manileño from Paco who is satisfied with the performance of the Mayor but also raised the concern about the small businesses of other citizens of Manila. According to the plan unveiled by the administration, they will build an alternative shopping area in Divisoria where the displaced vendors will have their own space and set their shops permanently.

Meanwhile, true to his promise of improving social services in Manila, in the first 100 days of Mayor Moreno, he was able to sign ordinances that will provide financial assistance to the students, senior citizens, PWDs, and solo parents. He is also planning for a complete rehabilitation plan for the government owned Ospital ng Maynila and improving the facilities of other government owned hospitals as well.

Signing of City Ordinances granting a monthly allowance of P500 for Grade 12 students of Manila public schools, solo parents, PWDs and senior citizens (Photo from Isko Moreno Domagoso FB page)

“Natutuwa po ako sa mga magagandang bagay na ginagawa ni Mayor. Bukod sa paglilinis ng Maynila, hindi nya pinababayaan ang mga simpleng pangangailan namin,” (I’m so happy with what Mayor Isko is doing. He is not only cleaning the City of Manila but he’s also taking care of our basic needs.”) said Manolo, a 65-year-old senior citizen residing in Sampaloc, Manila who is expecting to receive additional financial assistance from the City Hall.

Mayor Moreno also wants to make sure that the citizens of Manila won’t need to go far for rest and recreation. He ordered to clean and fix the Arroceros Park along with the Kartilya ng Katipunan, and he is also planning to expand it later on. The Mayor is also aiming to fix and rehabilitate the Manila Zoo and make Manila a Green City along with a plan to redevelop Escolta and revitalize the tourism in the city. To make sure everything is also beautiful even at night, Isko Moreno also ordered the installation of Capiz lanterns to the key areas in the city.

Kartilya ng Katipunan at night (Photo from Streetlife MNL FB page)

“I hope they will also include Pasig River in their rehabilitation efforts. I hope they’d be able to adapt to new proposed technology for water rehabilitation from other countries,” said Abby, also a Manileño, who is satisfied with the works of Mayor Isko but hoping that the administration can create and implement actions to clean the Pasig River especially the rivulets or esteros in the areas of Manila that eventually leads to Pasig River.

In line with his plan to revitalize Manila’s tourism, Moreno recently unveiled the newly restored look of Jones Bridge, the Philippines’ Queen of Bridges. With the help of private sector, his administration was able to bring back the beauty of Jones Bridge together with the reinstallation of the pre-war statue, La Madre Filipina.

The new look of Jones Bridge during its unveiling last November 24 (Photo from Department of Tourism FB Page)

“Ang laki ng ginanda ng Jones Bridge. Dumami din ang mga taong bumibisita at nagpi-picture. Natutuwa ako ng malaki sa naging pagbabago sa Maynila. Sana ay magtuloy-tuloy pa ang mga adhikain ni Yorme,” (Jones Bridge is so beautiful. There’s a lot of people visiting the place now, and taking photos. I’m so happy that there are a lot of changes in Manila. I hope that Yorme can achieve his goals for the city.”) said Ramil, another satisfied Manileño from Sta. Mesa who wishes that Mayor Isko can really succeed leading the nation’s capital.

As these developments for the city of Manila unfolds, not just the Manileños, but many Filipinos are hoping to see again the forgotten beauty of the famous city and create memories as they go back or explore Manila.

During his speech at the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) general membership meeting, Yorme (the reverse of mayor, as he is fondly called), on the other hand, said that he cannot do all the changes alone. He needs the participation and support of the citizens and all sectors of the society to successfully achieve the much needed makeover of the city.

Stay updated with Mayor Isko Moreno as he is giving daily updates on his official Facebook page /iskomorenodomagoso and sometimes, he is even the one who facilitates Facebook Live sessions!


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Skip to content