Greener Pasay-Taft Rotonda eyedBy Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
By the time the Hollywood spy thriller, “The Bourne Legacy,” hits Philippine theaters, expect the Pasay-Taft Rotonda area to have less of the grime and chaos that “attracted” the movie’s producers to the site earlier this year.
According to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino, the intersection—considered the most polluted area in the capital—will undergo “re-greening” in the next few days.
Tolentino spoke Friday at the general membership meeting of the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa), citing the MMDA’s part in the government’s tourism campaign.
He said the rotonda, part of a chaotic grid that hosts bus and tricycle terminals, motels and inns, and a gamut of shops, will soon have a stress-relieving feature: Trees.
An old parking lot fronting a small hotel along Edsa and also the area fronting Heritage Hotel, for example, will be given a makeover with shrubs and trees in the next two days, Tolentino said.
The roughly 300 tricycles that occupy a stretch of the road under the Tramo flyover going to the domestic airport have been relocated, the official added. “There are no more tricycles there, only plants and trees.”
With these ongoing efforts, the Pasay-Taft Rotonda can become a “model for a greener urban landscape,” said Tolentino.
In January, the area made headlines as one of the locations for the car chase scenes of “The Bourne Legacy,” which stars Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz, Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton. The film is set to premiere in the United States in August.
Earlier, Tolentino said the shooting of the Hollywood film on Pasay-Taft Rotonda struck him as an “eye-opener,” a reminder that the place badly needed some sprucing up.
The regreening project will go “full blast” in the next two days, the MMDA chair said at the Philtoa meeting.
The initiative was in line with the agency’s “Metro Manila Greenprint 2030,” a program supported by the World Bank, the Australian Government and the international group Cities Alliance, which aims to transform poorly planned areas of the Philippine capital into world-class urban destinations.