MEMBERS of various groups advocating heritage conservation who have been expressing serious concerns regarding the proposed construction of a multi-million peso Filipino-Chinese “friendship bridge” have found an ally.
Manila Third District Councilor Bernie Ang said there were already a lot of structures that bolstered the friendly relations between Chinese and Filipinos.
In Chinatown district, Ang said there is a huge Chinese-Filipino Friendship Bridge arch at the foot of Jones Bridge which serves as the opening gate of Chinatown.
In Binondo, there is also a ‘Chinese-Filipino Friendship Bridge’ at the busy street of Ongpin and another friendship arch facing the Sta. Cruz Church which serve an opening gate to the Chinatown area.
Ang said the funds intended for the yet-to-be-constructed bridges could be put to better use through various programs that would help uplift the lives of poor people living in the slums of Chinatown.
In San Nicolas area, Ang said there are thousands living in utter poverty at the riverbanks in the third district, who are in dire need of resettlement.
Though there are anti-poverty programs of the Duterter government which would alleviate poverty of many Filipinos, the funds the Chinese government gave could definitely help in alleviating the conditions of many poor residents in Binondo.
Ang’s reaction came after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced the construction of two bridges worth $75 million and to be fully funded by the Chinese government beginning this year.
The first of the two Chinese-funded bridge will connect the Binondo and Intramuros districts in Manila, while the other will replace the existing bridges connecting Mandaluyong and Rockwell area in Makati.