Isko hopes to open new, safe City Hall underpass

Isko Moreno
Mayor Isko Moreno and city engineer Armand Andres discuss the details of the new City Hall underpass. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

MANILA Mayor Isko Moreno said he hopes to open to the public the new City Hall underpass anytime this month, complete with security personnel to protect the users round-the-clock and a digital information desk that would guide locals and tourists alike as they go around the city in search of various destinations.

Once finished, Moreno said the underpass will be sporting a totally new look which would be a far cry from its former state of dilapidation.

Moreno directed city engineer Armand Andres to improve the flooring by putting non-skid tiles, so that no one slips even during the rainy season when the floors are expected to inevitably get wet. Ceilings were refurbished while vertical wall gardens were put inside.

It will be recalled that the said underpass had been filled with illegal vendors to the point that it was difficult for users to go to the other side without having to wade through the various kinds of merchandise that littered the area.

Moreno ordered them removed, except for the mini-bookstore that sold second-hand books.

The mayor, he said, ordered the removal of the pedestrians sidings and in its stead would be a faithful reproduction of the Botong Francisco mural that greets visitors at the Bulwagang Antonio Villegas  where Moreno used to hold his press conferences during pre-pandemic times. The city’s logo will also be there.

Meanwhile, the digital info desk will help the public search for specific places in Manila.

Andres meanwhile said that Moreno had also discussed plans to install closed circuit televisions that will make use of high-tech facial recognition.

According to Andres, the renovation of the said City Hall underpass which began in March did not cause the mayor a single centavo and that he got help from his supporters.