Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is rising again, thanks to the political will of the newly elected Manila Mayor Isko Moreno!
The 45-year old former “basurero,” a “side-car driver,” a beneficiary of “pagpag” food (left-over from restaurants), and a movie teenage idol, Mayor Isko Moreno started his mandate by cleaning and reclaiming the most crowded, the most infested by thieves and corrupt officials, the most foul-smelling Divisoria, Quiapo, Carriedo and Blumentritt Market!
And the cleaning and reclaiming of Manila has to be done after many decades of neglect!
Manila has been deteriorating while its neighboring Makati and Taguig are the rising metropolis and has been lagging behind in the development as compared with the other suburbs of Quezon, City, Mandaluyong and Pasig. Manila then seems to have poorer and dirtier city and continued to retrogress under the dysfunctional management of Mayor Joseph Estrada, a former president who was impeached because of corruptions!
“Sa ginagawa ni Mayor Isko Moreno, isang sampal kina Mayor Lito Atienza, Mayor Alfredo Lim at Erap.” (What Isko Moreno has been doing is a slap on the faces of former Mayors Lito Atienza, Alfredo Lim and Erap Estrada.) “Binulok ni Erap ang Maynila!” (Erap made Manila rotten). These are some ballistic media headlines after a week of continuous cleaning campaign led by the newly elected Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Truth to tell, it is obvious that Manila has been suffocated with tremendous social and economic problems. For the past many decades, people have been shying away Manila, instead, they spend their time and money in the suburbs, mostly in Makati and Taguig, Alabang, Quezon City, Mandaluyong and Pasig, where the economic, cultural and social actions are alive and kicking!
My personal experience while in town for a family visit attested that I have to avoid Manila for safety and convenience!
And personally, Manila is left alone where filthiness, squalor and corruptions thrive!
And the winning of Isko Moreno is reverential! As if a God-given gift to the Manilenos!
Facing two goliaths in the 2019 May Election, Isko Moreno campaigned to reclaim Manila to its former glory, to give the streets back to the people, and to make Manila as the center of social, economic and cultural events. Former Mayor Alfredo Lim and 6-year termer, Erap Estrada lost with a big margin. And Isko Moreno, like a shining armor, started to work to reclaim Manila for the Manilenos.
Inspired by the countless supports from many quarters, and guided by his faith in men, and armed with humane touch with his fellowmen, Mayor Isko Moreno, relentlessly, continued to save Manila from deterioration.
Many more Manila areas are being cleaned with the help of thousand of supporters, from the Manilenos who believe on his political will, from the Department of Public Works and Environment and Natural Resources, and from other agencies.
And Mayor Isko Moreno wants his social planning to be effectively and efficiently delivered to the people: 1) develop Tourism Circuit, the reconstruction and development of many tourist and historical spots to effect local and international tourism; 2) instituting monthly pensions for seniors;3) enhance recycling by food exchanges of recyclable thrash; 4) restoration of the neglected Manila Zoo; 5) implementation of the solar panels in the public schools in Manila; 6) expanding and improving the Arroceros Park near Plaza Lawton; revival of cultural heritage of Manila; 7) and implementation of student allowance program; 78) plan to build a state of art medical centre; 9) resettlement of vendors and people who would evicted from the squatter areas.
“I cannot do this alone, with your help, we can do the change,” Mayor Isko Moreno pleads. “Hindi ko kaya, kung ako lang ang gagawa.” (I can’t do these changes alone.)
And the world is watching for a New Manila!