If you ask Manila mayor Isko Moreno what the biggest challenge is to improving mobility in the city, he’ll tell you that it all boils down to people’s habits—the bad ones in particular.
Case in point: Divisoria, which Moreno cited in a recent interview. He explained: “Correct me if I’m wrong. There is a habit of corruption in the area. Alam naman natin pare-pareho. Hindi naman kayo mga tolonges na hindi niyo alam paano nag-exist yan nang walang nakakausap na may kapangyarihan.
“Kasi blatant na mali, pero nag-exist. Maling-mali, technically and morally, tapos nag-exist—alam mo na ang ibig sabihin.”
During Moreno’s term, the Lagusnilad underpass has been renovated, España Boulevard has been illuminated, and other public spaces have been cleaned up and rehabilitated. But Moreno knows that it will take more than rolling out infrastructure projects to break this vicious cycle of wrong practices:
“I remember it vividly, yung commercial ng Nestle. Ang ginagawa ng matanda ay ginagaya ng bata. So kung ang nakikita ng bata ay mali, tatanda rin na mali ang ginagawa.
“If the saying is true that you cannot teach old dogs new tricks, kaya may mga matatandang leader na matigas ang ulo because they cannot adapt, then let’s go after their children. So we are now changing to an environment of good habits in the city.”
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