THE City of Manila has funneled additional funds to the Ermita-Malate district in an effort to revive its former luster as one of the country’s premier ‘tourism and entertainment districts’ catering mostly to foreign tourists.
At a simple ceremony last Friday at the city hall, Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada signed the supplemental budget for Bgy. 699, which covers the area, amounting to more than P4.3 million that effectively increased its annual budget this year from P11.088 million to P15.34 million.
Bgy. 699 Chairperson Cynthia Llorente, for her part, was enthusiastic over the additional support given by Estrada, saying, “Napakalaking tulong po nito. Sa totoo lang po, itong pag-increase ng budget namin ay mangangahulugang marami kaming magagawang programa rito, lalo na nga po dahil we join our mayor in his efforts to bring back the glory of Manila.”
“Bilang barangay chairperson sa aming lugar sa Ermita ay director din po ako ng EMBOA (Ermita-Malate Business Owners Association) kaya nakikita namin ang mga priority na dapat proyekto namin lalo na pa nga at kilala ang lugar namin na pas-yalan ng mga turista,” Llorente said.
For his part, Estrada said the continued increase in the budgets of Manila’s barangays is part of his initiative to bring back the luster and glory of the nation’s capital.
“We are increasing the budgets of the entire city’s barangays so they will be able to implement many important programs and projects.
“In this particular area, the Ermita and Malate area which has been known as the tourism and entertainment district of Manila, I am confident that this increase in their budget will enable them to implement more projects that will entice more tourists, both foreign and local, to visit this place and the various establishments here, or even stay in hotels here for short in-city vacations,” Estrada explained.
Since 2014, the budget allocation for the city’s barangays have risen, from P950 million in 2014 to P1.96 billion one year later, mainly due to the city government’s improved tax collection efforts and the settlement of the city’s P5.5-billion debts.