THE Lacson underpass in Quiapo, which was privatized and became just like ordinary malls, will soon be open 24 hours daily.
Manila Mayor-elect Isko Moreno said his order will take effect right after his oath-taking at 12 noon on June 30. Right now the Lacson underpass will continue to have limited access from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. since the underpass is being operated by a private company.
Moreno said the Lacson underpass was created to provide pedestrians safe passage to cross Quezon Boulevard and access Quiapo Church and Carriedo Street.
The incoming mayor expressed his special concern for the elderly and the handicapped who cannot negotiate the steep stairs of overpasses just to get to the other side of the street.
Since the underpass was converted into a mall, Moreno noted that most pedestrians have been deprived of easy access to both sides of Quiapo and a passage leading to Sta. Cruz.
Some pedestrians were compelled to use the overpass on Raon which is several meters away from the church.
When outgoing Mayor Joseph Estrada took over City Hall, the underpass was closed for months and later was privatized and it reopened as a mall. A private company renovated and operated it under a 25-year joint venture agreement where commercial stalls numbering to about 200 would pay rent from P5,000 to 35,000 a month.