BASURA Beach is gone and in its stead rose the ‘New Baseco Baywalk.’
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna inaugurated the new esplanade where residents of Baseco may promenade, exercise or simply while their time away, with a plea for the residents to take utmost care of the area by keeping it clean and trash-free at all times.
Joining them in the simple ceremonies were barangay officials and city officials who helped make the new baywalk possible, among them city engineer Armand Andres, department of public services chief Kenneth Amurao and city electrician Randy Sadac, all of whom Moreno thanked for the effort in the total makeover of the Baseco Beach.
In his speech, Moreno vowed to introduce more developments in Baseco, with the support of Lacuna who also heads the Manila City Council as its presiding officer, noting that Baseco’s main problem is that it had never been planned as a residential area from the start.
Without going into details, Moreno announced that there are other developmental plans lined up for Baseco: “In a few weeks from now, ipakikita ko sa inyo ‘yung tunay na pagmamahal sa mahirap. May gagawin kami.. mas maayos, may dignindad malinis, panatag… unt-unti.”
Apart from ridding the Baseco waters of floating garbage through continuous cleanup operations, a walkable coastal area was also put in place in lieu of a dirty, smelly spot filled with feces and urine. Also set up were numerous lampposts to illuminate the area during the night and make it safe for promenaders.
Moreno appealed to the residents to practice self-discipline and maintain the area’s cleanliness, saying being poor does not mean that they also have to be dirty or smelly.
“Ngayon, ipakikita nating me gobyerno, pamamahala at malasakit pero me kaakibat na disiplina sa atin. Pag nililingon tayo ng pamahalaan, ang pakikipagtulungan natin sa pamahalaan ay pakikiisa sa pagsasaayos. Kaya mahalagang maituwid ang kaisipan. Di baleng mahirap, basta me dignidad sa pamumuhay,” Moreno said.
The mayor also called on the parents not to get tired of guiding their children, as he recounted his younger days as an informal settler but who grew up being guided by his parents on how to maintain a certain level of dignity in life.
“Me dignidad din kahit mahirap. Nag-aral ako sa Delpan, dating Tulungan Center. Ano ibig sabihin? Ang isa palang taga-Parola Binondo, o Parola Tondo ay pwedeng maging mayor ng Maynila. Puwede pala maging mayor ‘yung anak n’yong uhugin, tulukin alipungahin…ganun din naman ako noong bata ako pero pag itinama at nagpursigi sa buhay, merong masaganang bukas,” Moreno said.
He added: “Oo squatter kami… mahirap kami.. pero kami ay disiplinado at may pangarap umangat sa kinalalagyan. Tiyagain ninyo ang inyong anak..nangyari sa akin eh di pwede din sa anak nyo.”
The Baseco area used to be a dockyard of the National Shipyards and Steel Corp.
In the early 1960s, NASSCO was bought by the Romualdez family via the Bataan Shipping and Engineering Co. from where the name Baseco was derived.
In the 1980s, Baseco became a barangay and informal settlers began trooping there until it became highly-populated, to the point that some residents have built shanties over mounds of garbage.