No choice on privatization plans–Erap
Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has defended the city government’s “modernization” and privatization projects, saying the lack of public funds has forced him to turn to the private sector for help in improving facilities.
“As you all know, I inherited a bankrupt city so I have no choice but to enter into a joint venture,” Estrada told reporters Friday. “Let’s admit it, private firms [are better] than the government [in managing things].”
“We need everybody to [unite]. We need the help of our own departments and the private sector,” he added.
The city government has recently taken a lot of flak for the “modernization” of Quinta Market. Demolition of the public market began last week under a P90-million renovation program.
Longtime vendors, however, are worried that there will be an increase in stall rental fees when Marketlife Management and Leasing Corp. takes over the market for 25 years.
Estrada had said in his second State of the City Address that they were also looking into privatizing the Manila Zoo. In a press conference on Friday, he said that negotiations were underway with a private firm to make the zoo a world-class attraction.
He also echoed the importance of the private sector in helping the city government eliminate homelessness during Friday’s signing of the memorandum of agreement and terms of reference on the Oplan Balik-Bahay Sagip-Buhay project with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
According to DSWD-NCR Director Alicia Bonoan, the project will provide financial assistance to homeless families in Manila to enable them to rent a house for six months.
The beneficiaries will also be provided with jobs in partnership with private firms, the Department of Labor and Employment and the Ermita Malate Business Owners Association.
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