Erap to turn Manila into ‘Gates of Heaven’

Manila Mayor Joseph Erap Estrada, at the red carpet of the House of Representatives in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, on 22 July 2013, where President Benigno Simeon Aquino III is set to deliver fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) before the 16th Congress. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA Images)

Manila, Philippines --- The City of Manila under new Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada has introduced a 10-point agenda that will restore and renew the city from what a foreign novelist described as the "Gates of Hell."

"While some may see it fit and enough to just criticize a place for its faults and shortcomings, the better thing to do is to change and improve it," Manila Tourism and Cultural Affairs Bureau (MTCAB) Director Flordeliza T. Villaseñor said.

Estrada's 10-point agenda are: Clean and Green Spaces; Solid Waste Management; Emergency Response Action; Peace and Order; Job Creation and Livelihood Opportunities; Economy; Education; Health; Housing and Settlement; and Transparent Tax Collection and Public Expenditure Programs.

"The agenda can be likened to a sturdy broom that if used steadily and painstakingly, can sweep problems and restore Manila for Manileño's well-being," Villaseñor said.

She also said that the programs may not transform Manila into a postcard-perfect city that meets critic's approval, but what is important is that the residents are satisfied with their way of life.

"At the end of the day, the satisfaction of the Manileños is more crucial," she said.