Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso on Saturday, July 25 led the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the ‘Bagong Manila Zoo’ to revive and redevelop the recreation facility.

Domagoso said the redevelopment and rehabilitation of the Manila Zoo is part of his administration’s agenda to stimulate the city’s economy in the long term.

The infrastructure project, worth P1,736,400,000, will cover 51,000 square meters of the recreation facility. The Manila Department of Engineering and Public Works said the target duration for the completion is 19 months.

The project began on the 61st founding anniversary of the Manila Zoo.

The Manila Zoo was closed to the public under the previous administration after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) tagged the facility as a “major pollutant of Manila Bay.”

According to the DENR, the zoo was dumping untreated sewage into Estero de San Antonio Abad. The facility does not currently have a sewage treatment plant.

Under the redevelopment plan, the city government will build a sewage treatment plant, a materials recovery facility and a new veterinary hospital.

It will also include the construction of new habitats for animals, gardens, public toilets, a museum, a restaurant and a new parking area, among others.

With these plans, the Mayor hopes to build a zoo he said is “similar and competitive to Singapore Zoo.”

“You are going to witness this, we are going to build in the near future the best zoo in Asia,” Domagoso said during his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“I am happy that we are not only going to build a zoo, a clean zoo, but a healthier zoo for our animals. I want the best for you, mga Batang Maynila,” he said.

Likewise, Domagoso reminded his constituents that while there is still a COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Manila must address both life and economy to survive it.

“For the mean time, we must learn to live while there is COVID-19, and at the same time, we must learn to go back to work safely. Life and economy must be addressed together for us to survive this battle,” the Mayor said.