Erap allocates PHP300-M to turn Manila into ‘City of Lights’ by 2017

MANILA — Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada said Thursday he will set aside PHP300 million to make Manila the country’s ‘City of Lights’, just like Paris, as he proceeds with his street lighting project until 2017.

“I would like to see Manila as the ‘Paris of Asia’, our own ‘City of Lights’ while at the same time ensuring the safety of our constituents at nighttime,” he said.

“No single street or alley will be left unlighted,” the mayor said as he assured continuous funding for the street lighting project.

He added that he wants the entire city lighted up — from major thoroughfares to barangay streets — as an anti-crime measure during nighttime and in continuance of his urban renewal and beautification program for the capital city.

The project is also in line with the city government’s urban renewal program, which aims to revive Manila’s old glory. It will improve landscaping, renovate historic parks and monuments, and provide more convenient facilities.

Estrada said well-lighted roads help promote trade in commercial districts and tourist areas, such as Malate and Ermita.

Manila City electrical division chief Lorenzo Alconera said that since 2015, the government has installed brand new lampposts along 9.l km. of streets worth more than PHP100 million.

These include such major roads as Dapitan, Moriones, Del Pilar, Mabini, Pedro Gil, Onyx and Oroquieta, and portions of Roxas Blvd., Taft Ave., Vito Cruz, UN Ave., and Quirino Ave., among others.

The city government has also recently inaugurated 51 new street lights from Pedro Gil to Quirino Ave., part of Manila’s tourist belt area; followed by 56 more units from Quirino Ave. to Sta. Ana Church.

“Next year, we’ll be concentrating on District 1, the area of Tondo. Our target will be to light up the entire city,” Alconera said. “There will be no letup. The mayor doesn’t like darkness.”

In 2015, Estrada allocated PHP61 million for the street lighting project and PHP128 million more in 2016 where close to 2,000 LED lampposts have been installed throughout Manila.

The installation of street lights has drastically reduced street crimes throughout the city, particularly at night, barangay officials confirmed, according to Alconera. PNA/