Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan on Tuesday opened to the public the “Paskuhan sa Maynila” at the Mehan Garden near the Manila City Hall.
Domagoso said the said event, which will begin a month-long Christmas activity that will feature daily lights and sounds shows and a bazaar that will feature 60 exhibitors, will be open to the public every day from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. starting today up to January 2, 2021.
The idea, Domagoso said, was conceptualized by permits bureau chief Levi Facundo and designed and built by the city engineer Armand Andres and is aimed at providing business opportunities and create jobs at least for one month.
“Come to Manila’s Village of Lights and Sounds. A symbol of hope and abundance in the coming year!” Facundo said, adding that a band will be playing nightly and there will be a portion where skateboarders may showcase their talent.
Facundo also said that artists will be there to personalize shirts and even shoes while various kinds of food will also be for sale, along them Christmas hams, breads, teas, ice creams and various kinds of products from the famous Eng Bee Tin.
Charms, bracelets and accessories, skin and body essentials, maxi dress, slippers, sleep wear, colognes, and perfumes, Malong, Mindanao goods, fruit stand, sari- sari store, souvenirs and many more will also be sold there.
Also, the city government opened its “village of lights and sounds” as part of its Christmas celebration.
In a bid to generate more jobs and help business owners to recover from their losses, Paskuhan sa Maynila was organized by the Bureau of Permits, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila, and the Department of Engineering and Public Works.
Facundo said that about 200 jobs will be created as 60 exhibitors will participate in the Paskuhan sa Maynila event that will start on December 1 until January 2.
According to Facundo, the project was made in line with the directive of Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is our beloved Mayor’s desire for everyone to have a place where they can enjoy and at the same time open the doors of opportunity through business and job opportunities,” Facundo said.
“Like what Mayor Isko Moreno will always say, Manileños deserve so much better. Kaya pinagbubuti natin lagi dahil para ito sa mga Batang Maynila,” he added.
“There are over 60 exhibitors that may very well make good business during this time and about 200 jobs including the bands and artists will be created for a month. It is our beloved Mayor’s desire for everyone to have a place where they can enjoy and at the same time open the doors of opportunity through business and job opportunities. Like what Mayor Isko will always say, Manileños deserve so much better! Kaya pinagbubuti natin lagi dahil para ito sa mga Batang Maynila,” Facundo said.
Meanwhile, Facundo assured that alongside the effort to rev up the economy, the minimum health protocols will still be strictly observed, on orders of Moreno, adding that the mayor had required serology testing for all the event participants or tenants, to ensure safe commerce as face masks and face shields will also be mandatory for both sellers and guests.
Facundo said there will also be a contactless health declaration upon entry, misting booth, body temperature scanner assisted by the Manila Health Department and handy alcohol will also be given away upon entry to ensure patrons can sanitize frequently.
Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau chief Dennis Viaje assigned personnel to man the traffic outside while the Manila Police District will also be deploying personnel for crowd control, even as the City Security Force under Maj Arsenio Riparip will help in the security aspect and ensure that physical distancing is observed at all times.
Medics and ambulance will also be on standby as per Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office while sanitation will be kept by the Department of Public Services (DPS) under Kenneth Amurao, although the tenants have been required to have trash bags of their own.
There will be a ‘’one entrance, one exit policy’ and according to Facundo, only 50 percent capacity will be allowed inside the venue at any given time.