Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced on Thursday that the newly rehabilitated Manila Zoo will be open to the public for free for the entire month of January.
"Bukas na po ang Manila Zoo. Libre na po siya for the entire month of January," Moreno announced at the soft opening on Thursday.
Moreno stated that the zoo’s capacity, as well as its opening and closing hours, had yet to be determined.
“Antabayanan po ninyo anong dami lamang na tatanggapin in a given time ," Moreno said.
"I-aannounce namin anong oras magbubukas ang Manila Zoo sa umaga at anong oras magsasara ang Manila Zoo sa gabi ,” he added.
Moreno stated that the zoo would be open after dark to offer a “night safari.”
He promised that more animals would be added.
"Huwag kayo mag-alala dahil lumaki ang espayo ng sisidlan o kulungan ng mga hayop. Mamimili pa tayo ng hayop at mangunguha pa tayo ng mga animal. At maghahanap pa tayo ng mga buwaya at mga tsonggo at unggoy," Moreno said at the soft opening of the Manila Zoo, now known as the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden.
Moreno also revealed plans for the Manila Zoo to be open at night.
"Hindi lang sa araw makikita ang Manila Zoo. Ito ay magbubukas kahit sa gabi. Kaya hindi niyo na kailangang magpunta sa Zingapore Zoo or what they call Night Safari," he said.
Following the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, Moreno stated that the Manila Zoo, which spans 5.5 hectares, will have a capacity of 6,257 people if the two-meter distancing rule is followed, and 9,842 if the one-meter distancing rule is followed.
The reopening of the Manila Zoo coincided with the 125th anniversary of national hero Jose Rizal’s death.
Moreno urged private companies to comply with the Supreme Court’s mandate to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay in a statement.
“So, I’m happy that the City of Manila through Manila Zoo is a compliant facility to the DENR's requirement and to the Mandamus issued by the Supreme Court. At least we could now urge private companies that are not yet complying to follow suit,” Moreno said in a mix of Filipino and English in an interview.
The Supreme Court issued a mandamus in December 2008 to 13 government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and eventually preserve Manila Bay.
The Manila Zoo, which has been open since July 1959, is managed by the city government of Manila.
Free entrance at Manila Zoo for whole of January|GMA News