Mayor Isko announces start of Manila Zoo redevelopment

Maris Federez   •   July 25, 2020   •   447

MANILA, Philippines — Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso on Saturday (July 25) led the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the “Bagong Manila Zoo”.

In the city’s news release on Saturday, Domagoso said that the redevelopment and rehabilitation of Manila Zoo is part of his administration’s agenda to stimulate the city’s economy in the long term.

According to the Manila Department of Engineering and Public Works, the infrastructure project that will cover 51,000 square meters of the recreation facility is worth P1,736,400,000 and the target duration for the completion is 19 months.

The project began on Manila Zoo’s 61st founding anniversary.

The advisory also said that “the city government will build a sewage treatment plant, a materials recovery facility and a new veterinary hospital” under the redevelopment plan.

“It will also include the construction of new habitats for animals, gardens, public toilets, a museum, a restaurant and a new parking area, among others,” it added.

The mayor said that with these plans, he hopes to build a zoo which he said is “better than the Singapore Zoo”.

“You are going to witness this, we are going to build in the near future the best zoo in Asia,” Domagoso said during his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“I am happy that we are not only going to build a zoo, a clean zoo, but a healthier zoo for our animals. I want the best for you, mga Batang Maynila,”he said.

In January  2019, the previous administration ordered the closure of the Manila Zoo after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) tagged the facility as a “major pollutant of Manila Bay” for dumping untreated sewage into Estero de San Antonio Abad. — /mbmf

Mayor Isko discourages public from visiting Manila Bay Sands area amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Monday called on the public to refrain from visiting the Manila Bay Sands area amid the continuing threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Domagoso made the appeal after incidents of overcrowding during the opening of the Manila Bay Sands over the weekend.

A number of people who wanted to get a peek of the beach during its opening failed to observe physical distancing and many were seen not wearing face mask and face shield.

While understanding the excitement of the people for the project, Domagoso said the public should keep in mind that the threat of COVID-19 is still present.

“Alam ko po marami sa inyo nasisiyahan, nagagalak sapagkat ito’y kakaibang pangyayari. ‘Yong imposible naging posible. Ngunit, paalala ko pa rin na meron pang pandemya. Mayroong pa pong pangamba, panganib sa lungsod ng Maynila,” Mayor Isko said.

Moreno said that since the project has yet to be completed, the area will be closed to the public.

He also asked the city police to ramp up the security in the Manila Bay Sands and to stop people from staying or taking photos and videos of the area.

According to Manila Police Station 5 officer-in-charge Lt. Col. Alex Daniel, they have barricaded the entry points and posted at least 20 policemen to guard the area 24/7.

“Sa ngayong kino-close po natin itong lugar kung saan may proyekto po itong sa white sand so katulad kahapon medyo nalabag po sa ngayon iniiwasan po natin sa ngayon na magkaroon ulit ng ganun so may ginagawa po tayong guildelines sa pagbubukas po ulit nitong proyekto na ito para maayos po natin sa mga susunod na araw kung magbubukas po,” Daniel said.

Ermita Police station commander Police Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan has been relieved from his post following the local police’s failure to maintain social distancing measures during the event.

Physical distancing is among the health protocols being implemented by authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

US donates hygiene kits, handwashing stations to Manila City gov’t

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government of the United States on Thursday donated hygiene kits and handwashing stations to the city government of Manila in support of the Philippine capital’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, US Ambassador Sung Kim said he visited the Delpan Quarantine Facility in Tondo to handover 5,000 hygiene kits and 16 handwashing stations to Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Kim said the hygiene kits could provide additional protection against COVID-19 through the provision of items essential to practicing good personal hygiene.

The kits contain face masks, soap, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, and toothbrushes.

“The U.S. government is a friend, partner, and ally of the Manileños in facing this pandemic. The American people are pleased to support the City of Manila’s efforts to fight COVID-19,” Kim said.

To complement the donation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said it will continue to collaborate with the Manila City Health Office to help ensure that citizens can access quality tuberculosis services during the pandemic as well as to support the rollout of the Department of Health’s “Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE)” strategy to contain the pandemic.

USAID recently donated two ventilators to the Tondo Medical Center as part of the 100 ventilators that the U.S. government handed over last August 28 to the Philippine government.

To date, the U.S. government has donated over P1 billion ($22.6 million) to support the Philippines’ COVID-19 response.

Ikalawang walk-in COVID-19 testing center, binuksan sa Maynila

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Binuksan na rin ng Manila City government ngayong araw ang isa pang COVID-19 walk-in testing center bilang tugon sa dumaraming bilang ng mga nagpapasuri para sa nakakahawang respiratory disease.

Ang walk-in testing center ay matatagpuan sa Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center.

Ayon kay Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, aabot sa 100 pasyente ang maaaring tanggapin sa center na bukas mula alas-otso ng umaga hanggang ala-singko ng hapon, tuwing Lunes hanggang Biyernes.

Libre ang pagpapa-test sa naturang pasilidad at bukas ito maging sa mga hindi residente sa lungsod ng Maynila.

“First come, first served kasi we don’t want to make it exclusive. We want to make it available to everybody. Ang matiyaga, may nilaga, dadalhin mo lang I.D.,” ani Domagoso.

Blood sample ang sinusuri sa center gaya ng ginagawa sa rapid testing. Sa loob ng isang araw ay maaari nang malaman ang resulta.

Kung positibo ang resulta ng pagsusuri, isasailalim ang pasyente sa swab test nang walang kailangang bayaran.

Ito na ang ikalawang walk-in testing center sa lungsod ng Maynila kasunod ng pagbubukas kamakailan ng isa pang pasilidad sa Ospital ng Sampaloc na kayang tumanggap ng 150 pasyente kada araw.

Ayon kay Domagoso, tatlo pang walk-in testing centers ang plano nilang buksan sa mga susunod na araw.RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

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