Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada has finally given the go signal to the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCAA) to renovate the historic Metropolitan Theater (MET), officially ending the years of tug of war between the city government and the national agency.
Estrada met with NCAA officials led by Chairman Felipe De Leon Jr. and legal counsel Trixie Cruz-Angeles to discuss the three-year rehabilitation project amounting to P270-million.
“I’m all for it,” Estrada said. “This is what we’ve been doing in the past three years, reclaiming Manila’s old glory.”
He added that while NCAA is solely responsible for the renovation, his local administration will take the lead in addressing important concerns such as traffic rerouting while the project is being implemented.
The iconic stage play center located in Padre Burgos Avenue corner Arroceros Street.
“Manila is intended to be one of the most beautiful cities in South East Asia. So one of the trajectories, spring board to do this would be the redevelopment of the Metropolitan Theater,” said Gerald Gio, consulting architect of the project, who vowed to make Manila the “Paris of the East” just like before.
In fact, the Met Theater is just one of the many establishments up for renovation as part of Estrada’s urban renewal, a priority program since he assumed office in 2013.
Also slated for a facelift is the old Post Office Building, which will include a paved walkway connecting it to the Met and Intramuros.
“The key here is the ‘pedestrianization,’ for the people to converge in these sites,” Gio noted, adding that the Met will be linked to the Central Station of LRT 1, to parking spaces, and to a depot for public utility jeepneys.
Also for rehabilitation effort are the Park ‘N Ride terminal beside MET and the revival of Escolta-Intramuros boardwalk along Pasig River; restoration of Plaza Del Carmen and San Sebastian Church; and old shop houses in Quiapo, Binondo, and San Nicolas such as the 1886 Casa De Tribunal de Naturales.