Isko Moreno to expand Arroceros Forest Park

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday, July 30, bared his plan to expand Arroceros Forest Park, the so-called last lung of Manila.

The Manila chief showed his plan to the Save Arroceros group during a meeting at City Hall on Tuesday.

Moreno told the group that he would convert specific roads around the park for the expansion project.

"I will withdraw a portion of Arroceros Street at the corner of the Metropolitan Theater and the footbridge of Quezon Bridge for public use. After converting it for public use, we will extend Arroceros Park to make it more public," Moreno said.

"We will plant more trees," he added.

MASTER PLAN. The plan presented by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno at City Hall on July 30, 2019. Photo from the Manila Public Information Office

MASTER PLAN. The plan presented by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno at City Hall on July 30, 2019.

Photo from the Manila Public Information Office

The expansion of Arroceros Park is only a patch in Moreno's long-term vision for a so-called Green City in Lawton. Declining to disclose a timeline, Moreno said their goal was to build 1,600 hectares of green space in the district as recommended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Moreno said this would be done with the help of his ally Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and the City Council, which is dominated by his allies.

He added that after the park’s expansion, he planned to build of an “esplanade” with the help of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and the City Public Works and Highways department.

Moreno had earlier said that he would keep Arroceros Forest Park amid plans during the previous Manila leadership to build a gymnasium in the area.

The park, located in Antonio Villegas Street in the central district of Ermita, is about 2.2 hectares wide and is home to over 3,000 trees of 61 varieties, and 8,000 ornamental plants. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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