The City Council of Manila has passed a resolution granting authority to Mayor Joseph Estrada to personally apologize to Hong Kong for the 2010 hostage crisis that left eight people dead, according to media reports on Tuesday.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino earlier said he will not apologize to Hong Kong.
In adopting the resolution, the council members expressed hope the formal apology from the city, to be handcarried by former President Joseph Estrada himself, will put closure to the issue that has haunted the Aquino administration over the past three years, Philippine TV5 News reported.
The council resolution expresses "the sentiment of the city government of Manila in their sincerest effort to apologize to the People's Republic of China, its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the family of the victims of the Rizal Park hostage-taking incident that occurred on August 23, 2010 within the territorial jurisdiction of the city of Manila."
"Whereas, as former head of state, Mayor Estrada understands the importance of tourism in the nation's economy; hence, he gives priority to the development of the two-square kilometer area of Manila Chinatown in Binondo, Manila," the resolution added.
Philippine Senator JV Ejercito said last week the Philippines has lost around $12 million in revenues because Hong Kong tourists are avoiding the country.