Manila District 5 Rep. Amado Bagatsing said that he will make the Lacson Underpass accessible 24 hours to pedestrians if he gets elected as mayor.
Bagatsing also called the privatization of the underpass as the ‘mother of all scams,’ saying Manila residents are against the privatization of several city-owned public markets.
“The Lacson Underpass was renovated tapping a private firm. The effects are not acceptable to the public. It opens at 9 in the morning and closes at 9 in the evening. People are angry. They said it is for public use, why limit its use?” he said.
“Sidewalks and underpasses are all constructed for public use. Public funds were spent for the use and benefit of the public. Unfortunately, it was sold by incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, thereby deliberately compromising the safety and welfare of the Manileños. That is against the interest of the public,” added the founder of Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Kaunlaran (Kabaka).
He said the privatization of the Lacson Underpass is “the mother of all scams and corruption” in Manila.
“There are a lot of people that need to get home safely, even during late hours in the evening, from their respective jobs. Today, they are forced to play ‘patintero’ against rushing vehicles just to get on the other side of Quiapo,” he said, referring to pedestrians who are forced to cross the streets and climb the center island fence to get to the other side. Patintero is a popular Filipino children’s game wherein one has to try cross a line without letting himself be touched or caught by the opponent.