Our research team in the Philippines recently met with the Manila’s new City Mayor, Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso, to discuss opportunities for the capital city of the Philippines to continue its journey towards becoming a sustainable, healthy, and learning city.

As SHLC’s research design and implementation in the Philippines centres on an ongoing collaboration with the City Planning and Development Office, with the active cooperation of other bureaus and offices of the Manila City Local Government, the meeting provided an excellent opportunity to give an update to the new Manila City Administration on the progress of the research over the past two years.

The City Mayor expressed his support to the efforts of the team, and shared with them some of his aspirations, ideas, and plans that are very much in line with the goals of the project. He stressed the importance of returning the streets to its rightful owners – the public – by making Manila City sustainable and giving the people access to open areas and green parks. He also shared his intention to lead by example by working at the grassroots level and making regular site visits to critical areas such as his recent inspection of Vitas Slaughterhouse, among others. Through his actions, Mayor Domagoso said that he aims to make Manila vibrant again, in the hope of bringing the city back to its old glory.

SHLC’s International Co-Investigator Dr Mario R. Delos Reyes from the University of the Philippines Diliman said:

“It was a pleasure to meet Manila’s new City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso and share our ideas on how to support Manila in its journey to becoming a sustainable, healthy and learning city. We welcome his desire and aspiration to ensure the public and communities are at the heart of his policy efforts and are looking forward to continued collaboration with the City Mayor and his team."

SHLC Philippines research team meet Manila City Mayor and government officials.
SHLC Philippines research team meet Manila City Mayor and government officials.

During the meeting, which was held at the Manila City Hall on July 17, 2019, the research team presented an overview of the project to the new administration. The presentation emphasised the distinctiveness of SHLC’s approach compared to other studies on urbanisation by honing down to the neighbourhood level. A neighbourhood audit is currently underway using focus group discussions, neighbourhood visits, and walking interviews to capture the distinct characteristics and nuances of the various neighbourhoods that make up of the colourful City of Manila.

Atty. Mark Anthony M. Gamboa presents SHLC Philippines research to Manila City Mayor

The project team invited the City of Manila to partner with our wider research in the upcoming activities where research partners from Asia, Africa, and Europe will converge in Manila City for the Philippine leg of the project’s international partner meeting in February 2020. This event will be held simultaneously with the International Conference on Sustainable Living (ICSL) in Manila on February 19 to 20, 2020 with the theme “Towards Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods”.

In addition to the City Mayor, attendees present at the meeting included: International Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Mario R. Delos Reyes, In-country Co-Investigator Atty. Mark Anthony M. Gamboa, EnP, and members of the project team, Ryan Randle B. Rivera, EnP, and Keith Gerard L. Daguio, EnP. Also present were Ar. Danilo Victor H. Lacuna, EnP, Officer-In-Charge of the Manila City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), Ar. Joy Dawis-Asuncion, Executive Assistant on Special Projects, Ar. Marlou B. Campaner, EnP, Chief of the Urban Design Division of the Manila CPDO, and Ms. Sarah Labastilla-Bonzon, Chief of the Zoning Division of the Manila CPDO.