By Erma Edera
Newly-proclaimed mayor-elect Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso vowed to preserve the Arroceros Forest Park and the Manila Zoo, amid alleged threats to sell these city properties.
“We will try to make it na talagang parang pasyalan ng tao,” Domagoso said in a radio interview on Sunday morning.
Domagoso said he had no intention to sell the Arroceros Park, dubbed as the last lung of Manila.
He said he wanted to reopen the park to the public, and develop it into a place where Manila residents can relax.
It can be recalled that incumbent Mayor Joseph Estrada had earlier planned to turn the park into a gymnasium.
However, during the midterm elections campaign for the mayoralty, Estrada said he would also preserve the park where hanging bridges will be built on the perimeter of the park for passers-by to enjoy the beautiful view from the top and inhale fresh air.
The present Arroceros Forest Park, situated beside Pasig River in the area of Lawton, is covered with over 1,500 trees and a habitat of 26 resident and migratory bird species.
On the other hand, Domagoso said that Manila Zoo will also not be sold, and said that he would look into the situation of the animals in the facility.
“We’ll look into it. We guarantee you that all animals will be protected,” he said.
The Manila Zoo has been ordered closed by Estrada since late January this year to give way for assessment and study after Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu called out its management for being a major pollutant of Manila Bay due to lack of Sewerage Treatment Plant.
On 2018, one of the zoo’s lions went viral on social media and was allegedly experiencing seizures.