FORMER Manila Mayor Lito Atienza received the highest honor, the Gawad Andres Bonifacio Award, for his outstanding contributions to the City of Manila during the celebration of the city’s 452nd Founding Anniversary.
Atienza, the only 3-term Mayor of the City of Manila, was recognized for his administration’s highly successful “Buhayin ang Maynila Urban Renewal and Redevelopment Program.” Under Buhayin ang Maynila, he implemented much-needed reforms within the bureaucracy to speed up the delivery of basic services, preceding digitalization efforts of other LGUs by two decades. He got the support of various sectors and stakeholders such as barangay and community leaders, as well as businesses and NGOs to work together in restoring Manila into a colorful, vibrant and progressive city.
While expressing his heartfelt gratitude to Mayor Honey Lacuna for the honor, Atienza said that Manila had deteriorated since his time, and badly needs the kind of urban renewal and planning started by renowned Architect Daniel Burnham in the 1900s.
“Manila had lost the kind of future that was planned for it when one administration after another gave up its open spaces, playgrounds, and tree-lined boulevards, which quickened the city’s deterioration. We did our best during our time with our Buhayin ang Maynila urban renewal program. We are happy that the present administration is doing it,” Atienza said, referring to Lacuna, who is barely one year in the top city post.
“We wish Mayor Honey success and support her in our quest to once again make Manila the leading city in Asia—regaining its prominence as the Pearl of the Orient Seas, the birthplace of heroes and leaders, and the site of countless major events in history. Manila’s history and culture is incomparable to any other city.”
Buhayin ang Maynila program brought back life and economic progress to the City. It encouraged investors, both local and foreign, to open businesses in the City which generated much-needed revenues, and provided livelihood and employment for Manilenos.
Atienza also transformed the stretch of Roxas Boulevard from the Manila Yacht Club to the US Embassy into what became popularly known as the Baywalk—a beautiful promenade that not only gave Manilenos and visitors a frontrow seat to enjoy the world-famous Manila Bay sunset, but also became a favorite destination for families to get together.
Image credits: Contributed photo