The newly-elected mayor of Manila, then President Joseph Estrada stated, as he learned about himself winning the elections, that he will turn Manila to be the Paris of Asia. This statement must have been a source of jokes of all kinds among people with the prejudgment that Estrada was nothing but an action star before he assumed the office of presidency and then overthrown by his clever Vice President Arroyo, something that the Filipinos celebrated, something that will make them perish for the next 9 years. How naïve for the side of the people, did anything really change now?
Trivia: Joseph Estrada was a dropped-out student of the University of the Philippines – Diliman, College of Engineering.
Currently, efforts in Manila could be seen for the improvement of the said city. With the loyal vice mayor in his hand, Isko Moreno who keeps addressing him as ‘Pangulong Mayor’ on every interview I saw Vice Mayor Moreno on, things must be a lot easier from planning to execution of every project Estrada deems necessary for the city.
Two of the projects that caught most of the media attention for Manila were:
(1) Bus Ban in Manila
(2) Improvement ‘Going Techie’ of Waiting Sheds along España, Manila.
Talking about the first one, this stirred emotions among people in the metro. Some turned angry as they clamor for the Manila Mayor to remove such ordinance for it causes additional means of transportation that these people will use which basically means additional cost for them. Some turned to be fine about it as they claim that there was nothing they can do to change the reality of such ordinance enacted for the city. Still, some turned to be happy about as progress from the ordinance to its intended goals were seen in a short matter of time where traffic in Manila were reduced to almost half of the past travel time people undergo during rush hours; further, pollution in Manila were also claimed to reduce visibly as they pin point buses to be one of the major sources of air pollution.
For the second move of the Estrada administration in Manila, the hard results of the project are now visible along the street of España in Manila. It is undeniable that the design of these waiting sheds could be easily claimed to be at par with those from abroad. Being a Public-Private Partnership Project (PPP), it is expected for the government of Manila to be in ease when it comes to the maintenance of such waiting sheds that boast not only its design but its Wi-Fi capability and CCTV security readiness as well. Though in terms of the response from the target users of these sheds: the students, being strategically placed in the University Belt, it has been a very weak response in terms of usage due to a very obvious reason: it is definitely unsafe to use gadgets wherein they could access Wi-Fi amidst the presence of CCTVs in each waiting shed, basically saying that it is secured in terms of surveillance but not in the actual scenario wherein one provides security, able to run after snatchers and the likes whenever needed.