I came across this website recently: http://manilafinancialcenter.com/. Nothing much to be seen there right now, save for some videos and a mediocre design for a website. But the premise of a business district in the City of Manila itself is intriguing idea at the very least.
But Manila’s present administration is bent on pursuing that dream. In fact they have identified the area where this planned financial center will rise: right at the Manila South Harbor area, just across the Walled City of Intramuros.
The area in dark blue shows the area to be used for this planned for this planned redevelopment. If becoming a reality, the old buildings and warehouses in this area will give way to skyscrapers and other modern structures.
While I have nothing against redevelopments plans like this one, especially the ones that Manila needs, I have my apprehensions about this plan if ever this is to be pursued.
For one, I am concerned how this plan is going to affect Intramuros. While these planned structures will not be erected in Intramuros that would directly cause the ruin of the history preserved in this part of the city, the sight of modern skyscrapers close to Intramuros might have some adverse effect on the Walled City in some way or another.
But another thing to mind about is that Manila already has a business district, in the Binondo-San Nicolas area which is right now far from the old glory it used to be known for. But it’s still there nonetheless, and there are still establishments doing business there.
The infrastructure’s already in place, not to mention the buildings still tower over the area. In fact some of these buildings are historic structures by themselves which are in dire need of preservation and restoration. It will be a great shame if we would lose them because of sheer neglect and misplaced priorities, not to mention apathy.
The potential is still there; all the city government has to do is to make sure that its potential is used once more and maximized. It’s a puzzle why the city government after all these years still has not tinkered with the idea and opt instead to make a new one. Political will to do the cleanup necessary in this part of the city is what is needed to not only get the job done, but also revitalize this area into a booming business district Manila needs right now.
The plan for a new “Manila Financial Center” may end up just remain a dream, as many grand projects end up with, but the need to revive the old Manila Commercial Business District needs to be done if Manila is aiming to become a premier city once more.
Acknowledgements as well to the Philippine Daily Inquirer
© The Urban Roamer