MANILA - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday said he has no plans to sell Manila Zoo but will instead reopen it to the public after building a sewage treatment facility for the zoo's wastewater.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier ordered the shutdown after it was discovered that, because of the absence of a sewage treatment facility, the zoo was discharging untreated water into the Manila Bay.
"We have to build it because we will not disobey DENR. We will have to build it. Good news, I will not sell Manila Zoo. We are going to redevelop it, I call on the public to participate," Moreno told ANC.
The mayor turned down a proposal to enter into a joint venture to develop the zoo, saying private firms will only be allowed to donate to the zoo.
Pio Morabe, officer in charge of the city's public recreation bureau, which is tasked to manage the zoo, earlier said a sewage treatment plant needs to be built from scratch, fix the drainage system that hasn’t been repaired since the 1950s, and replace damaged pipes.
The administration of then Mayor Joseph Estrada had earlier planned to turn the park into a gymnasium. But during the campaign for the mayoralty, Estrada said he would also preserve the park.