Mayor Joseph Estrada’s goal before he retires from public service is to turn Manila into a city that is as clean and orderly as Tokyo and Hong Kong.
“Because this is my last hurrah in public service, and I was born here, I want to bring back the old glory of Manila that was called the Pearl of the Orient. Even if I have to sacrifice my life, I want it to be clean because it is a legacy I want the future generation to remember me by,” Estrada said Tuesday.
He noted that regaining Manila’s long-lost beauty and old glory means every Manileño should be disciplined and concerned with the country’s capital city.
Estrada said he had personally observed how clean Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore are.
”You don’t see waste and dirt on the streets, that’s why even their sidewalks are beautiful,” he said, adding that this is why he continually reprimands vendors who do not clean up their mess.
“The Chinese, Germans, Japanese are clean even in their public markets. I always ask our vendors to take a look at their counterparts. I always tell them to clean their backyard and open spaces for sanitary and health purposes. Kaya lang, sandali lang yon at tapos, balik na naman sila sa dating gawi (However, this is only temporary, as they slide back to their unsanitary ways),” the mayor lamented.
Since June, the city government has intensified its road and sidewalk clearing operations by driving away more than 3,500 illegal vendors and removing obstructions and illegal structures in an effort to clean the city and ease the perennial traffic congestion.
Clearing operations have been conducted in Divisoria, Blumentritt, Quiapo, Binondo, Sta. Cruz, R-10, and Pedro Gil, among others, and major roads leading to and from the Port of Manila. (PNA)