In an effort to help Filipinos recover under the new normal, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has launched an advocacy “I Love Metro Manila (MM)” that hopes to uplift the spirits of Metro Manila residents and get back in life after the struggles the country experienced in the COVID-19 pandemic.
MMDA Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the advocacy targets urban renewal and provides a solution to insufficient green spaces in the National Capital Region, and having a united front in responding to the pandemic for the 17 Metro Manila LGUs or local government units.
“As we reopen economic activities, now is the time to focus on Metro Manila as a whole with I Metro Manila,” said Abalos during the advocacy’s launch Saturday night, Nov. 13.
“Let us talk about mobility, mass transportation, river ferry, water quality, bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, greening and urban spaces, opening parks, pathways along the river, jogging path, pocket gardens, trash traps, culture, film fest, public safety, and many others.”
“We shall deal with all of the things that we dream about Metro Manila,” Abalos added.
Part of the initiatives the MMDA took under the “I MM” is the Adopt-a-Park Project in partnership with different LGUs; Urban Re-greening and Renewal Program, which raises environmental awareness and encourages inclusiveness.
Also, the program includes the participation in planning among LGUs to address urban decay through creation of green public parks and revitalization of the ecosystem in Metro Manila against rapid urbanization.
The MMDA project in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and all 16 cities and one municipality comprising Metro Manila; and engagement with the other stakeholders.
Abalos said that as one of the leading regions in economic development, and home to a significant portion of the country’s population, Metro Manila needs to improve its capacity to recover from the socioeconomic fallout from the pandemic while building its resilience to health emergencies and reducing poverty.
During the event, the MMDA recognized the combined efforts of the IATF and 17 Metro Manila LGUs for the efficient implementation of COVID-19 pandemic protocol and response initiatives, making the NCR the first region to achieve population protection.
Abalos said that as of Nov. 13, Metro Manila has fully vaccinated 91% of its eligible population. By Dec. 12, he said it would reach 100.87% and 104.96% inoculation rate by Feb. 12, 2022.
He also recognized the efforts of some private firms helping the government in bolstering its fight against the Covid-19.
Meanwhile, National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. awarded the MMDA through Abalos, for delivering invaluable support to the national government’s interventions to address the pandemic.