Mayoral bet Isko Moreno wants a new Manila city hall

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — Manila mayoral candidate Isko Moreno wants a new administrative building for the city's local government if he wins in the upcoming elections.

Moreno, whose real name is Francisco Domagoso, said he will push for the establishment of a new Manila city hall, as the existing one can no longer keep up with the current demands of the city government.

"City hall ang ganda (The City hall is beautiful) architecturally ... but you know, it cannot accommodate anymore the demands of our time," the actor-turned-politician told CNN Philippines' Politics As Usual.

"Traffic-wise, it cannot. For offices? Mess in here, mess in there. They use to be one room. Storage? It's everywhere. It's by the hallway, you can see our storage," he added.

The city's existing administrative building, Moreno said, will be maintained but "converted [to] other uses."

The current Manila City hall, which is located along Taft Avenue, was built in 1939. It was designed by renowned Filipino architect Antonio Toledo. The city hall is popular for its clock tower.

Moreno said the new building will be built beside the current city hall, juxtaposing the city's past and future.

"Katabing katabi lang, may open space, and you'll see ... may makikita kang ... (In an open space just right beside the current city hall, you'll see) it's a simple statement. Without saying a word that this is our past, we will never forget it, but this is the future of Manila. So dalawa 'yung magiging (there will be two) postcard landmarks. It's a dream," he said.

Moreno, a former undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, is going up against Manila's incumbent mayor Joseph Estrada and former mayor Alfredo Lim. Moreno previously served as city vice mayor under the leaderships of the two.

Heritage protection

Moreno vowed to protect Manila's heritage should he secure the city's mayoralty.

"You know Manila, when it was designed in the case of Architect Berno designed the Lawton area, as you can see maganda talaga ang sukat eh (the symmetry is really beautiful). I think ang kailangan na lang namin (what we only need), kailangan ko na lang ng (what I only need is) polishing ointment... 'yung we protect our heritage, the bank of Pasig River, that Burke building in Escolta, that certain heritage to be protected," he said.

"We will protect that asset of Lawton, the Arroceros park, na 'pag nakita mo 'yan sa Google (when you see them on Google) you'll be excited na meron pa pa lang ganito (that they still exist)," he added.

Moreno said many historic and old establishments in Manila are currently used as mere storage facilities as businesses move to more progressive cities, manifesting the city's "deterioration."

"Ngayon bodega na lang kami (We are just a storage facility now). Literally bodega (a storage facility)," he said.