MANILA – The city of Manila on Monday inaugurated the newly renovated Lagusnilad underpass which connects Intramuros to the Manila City Hall.
Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso led the event as he expressed gratitude to different national government agencies, employees of the city government, and the private sector for collaborating in order to achieve the “new look” of the underpass.
He said the underpass has a mural which has a semblance of the Botong Francisco painting inside the Bulwagan of the Manila City Hall.
At the same time, as a matter of gratitude to front-liners, Domagoso reserved a space in the site recognizing the efforts of medical personnel and other types of front-liners.
Domagoso added that no vendors will now be allowed to sell in the underpass, except for the bookstore.
“Si bookstore babalik na siya, isa lang ang may tinda dito, siya lang. Yung isang pwesto dun ilalaan namin sa kanya, si underground bookstore, kasi nami-miss siya ng mga estudyante. Yung old space niya ni-renovate natin para mas maaliwalas (The bookstore will be back and that will be the only store allowed here, also because the students are looking for it. We renovated the old space so it becomes cozier and more spacious),” Domagoso said.
The rehabilitation of the Lagusnilad underpass was initiated in November last year and Domagoso clarified that the city government of Manila did not spend a single centavo on the project.
Some PHP5 million were used for the renovation of the underpass.
The budget came from donations from private companies like Boysen Paints, from the National Commission for Culture and Arts, while the murals were done by its artists without asking for payment.
During Monday’s flag-raising ceremony, Domagoso acknowledged and thanked the people who collaborated for the project, including the artists who painted the murals –– Marianne Rios, Jano Gonzales and Ianna Engano.
The world-class underpass is designed by architect Juanito Malaga, John Benedict Fallorina, Sean Patrick Ortiz and Leon Centeno Tuazon from the University of Santo Tomas, while the signages were made by Raven Angel Rivota of the Far Eastern University, Edrian Garcia and John Leyson.
The underpass was installed with CCTV cameras, which Domagoso said, will help identify persons who may try to do undesirable acts in the area.
Domagoso called on who will use the underpass to be vigilant and help protect the place since it is public property.
For those who will try to vandalize the area, Domagoso said: “We are here today, an underpass, undisturbed, no obstruction unlike before, malinis, maaliwalas, gamitin nila nang tama at sana proteksyunan nila. Ngayon sakali man, artistic sila, sana wag na nila dito gamitin yung pagiging artistic nila, yun lang naman pakiusap ko (clean, cozy, use it properly and protect it. For those who are artistic, do not use your artistic abilities here, that is my only request).”