In the days leading to the country’s hosting of the 31st Asean Summit, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has ordered the extensive cleanup of major roads and center islands in the city.
Estrada has directed Task Force Manila Cleanup chief Che Borromeo to keep the city spick and span, noting the significance of the international gathering of world leaders not only to the country but also to the city government.
The Asean Summit, he added, 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.”
“It is fortunate that we will be hosting Asean Summit at the time we are in the midst of our Urban Renewal Program,” Estrada said.
Estrada had reiterated his ongoing campaign to clean up, repair, and restore the city’s famous landmarks, including the cultural heritage sites.
As the country’s “show window” to the world, Estrada said that as the capital city, Manila has to look good to the eyes of the state leaders and thousands of foreign diplomats and delegates attending the international conference.
On Tuesday, Borromeo led dozens of men in scouring 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 everyday 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, 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 to about P60 million.
“Mayor Erap wants all the center islands, particularly on the major roads, to look good in time for the ASEAN conferences. Ito kasi ‘yung dinadaanan ng mga tao, ‘yung nakikita talaga,” Lacson added.