Isko Moreno inaugurates redeveloped Arroceros Urban Forest Park | Inquirer News

Isko Moreno inaugurates redeveloped Arroceros Urban Forest Park

By: - Contributor / @inquirerdotnet
/ 05:19 PM February 06, 2022

Isko Arroceros Forest Park

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Friday night formally opened to the public the redeveloped Arroceros Urban Forest Park, which is considered as the capital city’s “last lung.”


“Marami na kayong papasyalan na open green space and I do believe sa maliit kung kaalaman, ito’y makatutulong sa mental health issue na kinakaharap na hamon o challenges ng ating mga kababayan ngayon na tayong lahat ay sumasailalim sa pangamba ng pandemyang ito na pwedeng magdulot ng panganib sa buhay natin,” Moreno said in a speech during the inauguration of the redeveloped park.

The redevelopment of the Arroceros Urban Forest Park was a product of the City of Manila’s planned development under the leadership of Moreno.


The Manila city government purchased the 2.2 hectare land in 1992 along with the more than 3,000 trees of 61 varieties and 8,000 ornamental plants. The Arroceros park is also home to 10 bird species. In February 2020, Moreno signed Ordinance No. 8607, officially declaring the park along Arroceros Street as a permanent forest park.

Arroceros Forest Park

“Ang mga puno napangalagaan at maraming halaman at ‘yung iba pang mga bagay na pwedeng magamit ng ating mga lolo’t, lola. Masaya ako para sa inyo and you can bring your grandchildren, your family here,” Moreno said in his speech.

“Masaya ako sa mga nagzu-Zumba, nagta-Taichi, nagka-calisthenics kasi there is a space for you there. In-allot namin para maging kapaki-pakinabang at kayo ay ligtas na nasa loob,” he said.

The Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer was joined by officials of the Manila city government, the private sector as well as environmental groups who have earlier expressed apprehension on the redevelopment plan.

After undergoing construction for six months, the Arroceros park now has fountains, elevated walkways, a coffee shop and play areas for children. There is also a space for calisthenics for senior citizens as the asphalt used is water-absorbent and has a rubber-like softness.

Moreno, who has touted the new Arroceros Park as the Philippine capital’s version of New York City’s Central Park, invited the public to visit the area which will serve as another attraction to the people of Manila and even non-city residents who have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for two years already.


The 47-year-old presidential aspirant said that by visiting the new forest park, families will have a chance to relax and bond with one another.

Moreno also said visiting the forest park will be good for one’s mental health especially at a time when people have been through several lockdowns whenever there is a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Moreno maintained that his administration is committed to protect the Arroceros park not only for the people of Manila but also with the rest of the Filipino people who wants to relax after work or during holidays. “Ipapaalala ko sa inyo, muntik ng mawala ang Arroceros,” he said.

During his speech, Moreno took the opportunity to thank construction workers for continuing with their work in the forest park and risking their own health amid the ongoing pandemic.

“At palakpakan natin ang ating mga construction workers. Masaya ako may trabaho kayo. Kahit na pandemya nakapaghahanap-buhay kayo dahil sa patuloy na agresibong pagawaing bayan para sa ikabubuti ng tao naman kayo’y nakapaghahanap-buhay,” Moreno said.

“We’re happy to be of service. At least kahit pandemya… meron Delta, Omicron, tuloy ang trabaho, tuloy ang hanap-buhay para sa pamilya ninyo. I’m happy for you and thank you for your service sa ating mga tumulong na ayusin itong ating bagong pasyalan ng mga Batang Maynila at kung sino man ang dadalo sa Lungsod ng Maynila,” Moreno pointed out.

The local chief executive also took time to praise the participation of private people’s organization for helping the Manila city government realize its vision of rehabilitating the forest park.

“Eto po ay hindi mabubuo lamang ng pamahalaang lungsod, ng Konseho ng Maynila. Ngayon marapat na maibigay natin yung kredito sa mga organisasyong nagtulak at gisingin ang mga lider ng Lungsod ng Maynila na patuloy na pangalagaan etong sinasabi kanina ni Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna the last lung of Manila –  etong ating Arroceros. At nais ko silang batiin at sa tulong nila nabigyan tayo ng gabay, at sa tulong nila napag-tagumpayan natin at itong araw na ito ay magiging makasaysayan sa kanila, sa ating pamahalaan at sa mamamayan ng Lungsod ng Maynila,” Moreno said.

“Nais kong pasalamatan ang presidente ng Winner Foundation President Chiqui Mabanta and of course The Save Arroceros Movement led by Ms. Menie Odulio, Mr. Mike Lee, at Ms. Bea Dolores,” Moreno said.

Among the VIPs who attended  the re-opening of the park include Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, Manila, 3rd Rep. Yul Servo, Manila Division City Schools Supt. Dr. Magdalena M. Lim, Engineer Armand Andres, City Electrician Engineer Randy Sadac, Architect Pepito Balmoris, Parks and Development Office chief Pio Morabe, and Ms. Jackie Garospe of Lightrail Manila Corp.

Moreno previously said he was very much contented with the progress of the work being done at the park as he toured the place last January.

He said the park will have amenities like play areas, kiosks, and public toilets. It will also have landscaping with an elevated path walk, a special lighting system, and water fountains. Some of the pathways have rubber matting so that people will feel safer and more comfortable when strolling in the park.

Moreno also suggested the setting up of speakers where bird sounds can be heard so that people visiting the area will feel more relaxed.

“We make sure that when we build, we build fast because time is of the essence, especially ngayong panahon ng pandemya. Basta ikabubuti ng tao, maipagmamalaki ng Pilipino, gagawin natin… the people deserve it,” Moreno said.

The Arroceros Urban Forest Park is part of a series of construction and rehabilitation projects to create more tourist destinations in Manila under Moreno’s administration.

Other projects of the Moreno include the redevelopment and overhaul of the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden and the renovation of the City Hall’s iconic clock tower.

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