June 30th, 2011

Metro Manila’s “Facelift” to increase Philippine’s Economic Potential

A “facelift” of urban renewal programs will soon be mushrooming in Manila with the aid of local mayors.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the 17 mayors of Metro Manila have agreed to go through urban renewal program that aims to hasten the region’s progress and increase its economic opportunities.

“We want to create a world-class, vibrant, safe and healthy metropolis by 2016 by implementing short and medium-term programs. This we will do with the mayors as our active partners,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, who led the Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting.

Tolentino said that Metro Manila, a region of 12 million people, needs re-development not only to improve its physical surroundings but also to create a world-class economic hub at par with other metropolitan areas in Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul-Incheon-Gyeonggi in South Korea, and Shanghai.

During the meeting, the 17 mayors and other voting members of the council initially agreed to form a committee, with the MMDA as the lead agency, to formulate a six-year Urban Renewal Master Plan for Metro Manila.

The MMDA presented its proposed short and medium-term urban renewal projects, which Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian proposed to be funded by the Office of the President and joint financing by the 17 local governments in Metro Manila.

According to the MMDA Chairman, “We have to revitalize our central business districts, create better, safer roads, a land-and-rail mass transportation system, and other major face-lifting endeavours to address Metro Manila’s rapid urban decay.”