About a year after it started redeveloping Paco Market, ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI) will take over the task of managing the Manila landmark after an agreement was signed by AFI managing director Gina Lopez and Manila mayor Alfredo Lim in April.
AFI had undertaken the redevelopment in 2011 as an important step in the Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig rehabilitation program after Lopez saw that the market was one of the primary sources of river pollution through Estero de Paco.
“…We realized that if the market continued to dump its sewage and waste into the estero, and if the vendors continued to be undisciplined, we would never have the estero that we needed,” Lopez had said.
AFI aims to turn the historic market, built in by the Americans in 1911, into a “tourist destination and a model for environmental sustainability.” The foundation will be in charge of managing the market for 10 years, with “the specific aim of making the market environmentally sound.”
The 10-month redevelopment of Paco Market had started with the relocation of more than 1,000 families living along Estero de Paco and other estuaries to Calauan, Laguna, after which the waterway was dredged and cleaned.