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Manila, DHSUD sign MOU toward ‘Magnificent Manila’

Honey Lacuna and Jerry Acuzar
Mayor Honey Lacuna enters into an MOU with DHSUD Sec. Jerry Acuzar toward a 'Magnificent Manila.' (JERRY S. TAN)

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was entered into by the city government of Manila with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) which, according to Mayor Honey Lacuna, will help her administration achieve its vision of a ‘World-Class Global Capital City’ toward a “Magnificent Manila.”

The lady mayor said that with the MOU, which she signed along with DHSUD head, Sec. Jerry Acuzar, it is hoped that the collaboration between Manila and the DHSUD will go beyond the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Also present in the signing ceremony were DHSUD Undersecretary Architect Henry Yap and delegates from the said agency, where Lacuna also congratulated them on their fifth anniversary.

“As you highlight “safety and resilience”, or LIgtas at MAtibay (LIMA) na pabahay para sa lahat, rest assured that the City of Manila shares your aspirations of providing decent housing for all Manileños and Filipinos, as the cornerstone of improving the quality of their lives, and thus building our nation to its true potential,” she said.

Lacuna said the MOU does not establish a mere relationship, but a collaborative and continuing partnership.

She noted that the city’s Current Land Use Plan (CLUP), crafted during the administration of then Mayo Lito Atienza, benefited from a technical review by the then HLURB, among other national agencies, only at the tail end of its preparation.

“As we now embark on the updating of our new Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), todays commitment between us ensures that, from day one, we will be working hand-in-hand. That we will be sharing knowledge and resources continuously as partners from its inception, to its refinement, and up to its final version,” she said.

Lacuna added: The creation of our Manila CLUP will be at the core of this partnership. It will come to pass as one of the, if not the most, important policy, along with our Comprehensive Development Plan, that the city will ever have, because the Land Use Plan will lay the foundation for the urban transformation of the City, from now until 2035, into our ‘MAGNIFICENT MANILA‘. It will be our blueprint to achieve our Vision: to reestablish Manila as a World Class Capital City. A Global city—of equal or even greater stature than our neighboring cities such as Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.

The mayor said that ‘Magnificent Manila’ is her administration’s aspiration while the Land Use Plan and the city’s zoning ordinance will be its blueprint.

The plan, according to Lacuna, will guide not only the physical development of future Manila, but will also enhance the quality of life of all its citizens by: promoting the creation of safe, vibrant and walkable neighborhoods; ensuring that all Manilans have decent and affordable housing in the world’s most densely- populated city; providing essential social and utility amenities in all communities; preserving our built heritage— that unique character of Manila which sets us apart from all others; protecting our water bodies and creating more parks, plazas and green open areas as breathing spaces and social spaces in our congested City; supporting the economic development of the city thru an environment that establishes business centers, attracts investments, is conducive to business growth and thus stimulates job creation, without compromising the well-being of its residents; optimizing the efficiency of transport systems and peoples’ mobility thru enhanced connectivity of places; building up Manila’s strength as the education center and thus, the knowledge hub of the country and exploring and guiding the development potential of the many unique districts in the city.

“With the collaboration of the city and the DHSUD, what we are given here is a unique opportunity to jointly come up, not with a typical CLUP, but with an innovative and novel plan that gradually transforms our city from being merely livable , to becoming lively and ultimately, to becoming loveable. The plan is for the prime, or premiere city of the country—to serve as a model for other highly urbanized cities,” Lacuna said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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