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Why you should vote for Isko Moreno

Why you should vote for Isko Moreno

Election fever has risen in the days leading up to the May 9, 2022 election. There are approximately 67.5 million qualified Filipino voters eager to vote for a new president, vice president, and other government officials.

Last night, three presidentiables and their vice presidentiables held their final rally and miting de avance. Vice President Leni Robredo was in Ayala, Makati; Bongbong Marcos was in Pasay; and Isko Moreno was in Tondo, Manila.

Francisco Moreno Domagoso, also known by his stage name Isko Moreno, rose to prominence as an actor and television personality before becoming the 22nd mayor of Manila in 2019. He entered politics in 1998, running for city councilor and winning three consecutive terms. He ran for vice mayor of Manila in 2007 and was elected for three terms in a row. In 2010, Moreno was appointed vice chairman of the Manila Historical and Heritage Commission.

Moreno was chosen to attend and was sent to Washington, D.C. in 2011. under the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program PeopleAsia Magazine named him one of the “Top 10 Men Who Matter in 2011.”

Moreno and five other councilors were arrested by police on February 16, 2013, months before the election, for alleged bingo operations in public places and a lack of a permit. Moreno denied that the bingo game was held in a public place in Santa Cruz, Manila, claiming that it was held on private property and did not cause any obstruction.

Moreno and the other councilors were released the next day, and the gambling charges were later dropped by the Department of Justice due to a lack of evidence and vague allegations about how the acts were committed. The police complainants also failed to identify a specific provision of the law that was broken.

Moreno was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities in Community Development (Honoris Causa) by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in April 2014.

The Commission on Audit (COA) discovered 623 ghost employees in Moreno’s office during his tenure as vice mayor in 2012 and 2013. The Ombudsman’s Office has already dismissed cases filed against him.

Moreno was also elected National President of the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines (VMLP) from 2008 to 2016, and 1st Vice President of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) from 2014 to 2016.

He was term-limited as vice mayor in 2016 and ran unsuccessfully for senator in the 2016 senatorial elections.

Moreno came in 16th place out of 50 candidates. He also received the most campaign and donation contributions of any senatorial candidate that year. According to Commission on Elections Resolution No. 9991 and Bureau of Internal Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 31-2019, Moreno declared and paid taxes on his unused excess campaign donations as stated in his income tax return, which is not a violation of Philippine law. His term as Manila’s vice mayor ended on June 30, 2016, and he was succeeded by Honey Lacuna.

Moreno worked as a peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) popular front, in its 2016 and 2017 peace talks with the Duterte administration. He and members of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) attended peace talks in the Netherlands, Oslo, and Rome before President Rodrigo Duterte formally ended peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDFP in late 2017.

Moreno was appointed chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the North Luzon Railways Corporation by President Duterte in July 2017. (NorthRail). Moreno left the position in October 2017, citing personal reasons.

He then worked as a social welfare undersecretary in President Duterte’s cabinet for a few months in 2018 before running for and being elected mayor of Manila in a landslide victory over his former allies Joseph Estrada and Alfredo Lim in the 2019 local elections.

Duterte appointed Moreno as undersecretary for Luzon affairs and special concerns at the Department of Social Welfare and Development in May 2018. On October 11, 2018, he resigned from this position in order to run for mayor of Manila in the 2019 elections.

Moreno has compared his leadership style to that of his predecessor Alfredo Lim, citing their shared commitment to reducing crime and keeping the capital clean. Moreno is also known for his streetwise public image, which he achieves through the use of colorful language combined with Manila street slang. As a result, he rose to prominence and is now known colloquially as Yorme.

Moreno was named Asia Leaders Awards 2019 and 2020 “Man of the Year in Public Service.” Moreno was awarded the 2019 Gusi Peace Prize in November 2019 for his work as a vice mayor and councilor in “consistently creating positive changes.”

Also in November 2019, the Harvard Business School Owner/President Management (HBS OPM) Club of the Philippines, a club made up of Harvard graduates in the Philippines, honored Moreno as its first-ever awardee for being a “Gamechanger in Politics,” recognizing his “outstanding leadership” and “dedicated public service.” He was also given honorary membership in the aforementioned club. PeopleAsia Magazine named Moreno one of the “Men Who Matter” in 2019. Moreno was also named one of PeopleAsia Magazine’s “People of the Year” for 2020 and 2022.

Under Moreno’s administration, the City of Manila received its first-ever Good Financial Housekeeping recognition from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for 2019.

Moreno received an honorary Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) degree from San Beda University on December 12, 2020.

Moreno was named “Hero of the Year” by Gawad Filipino Heroes Award in 2021 for his efforts during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same year, Moreno received the “Inspirational and Outstanding Leader Award” from the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) for his “exceptional city governance and excellent response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.” In addition, in 2021, the City of Manila was named one of the top 50 finalists in the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a competition aimed at identifying and implementing the most innovative ideas developed by cities to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Manila and the city of Butuan in Mindanao were the only Southeast Asian cities to make the list, chosen from a pool of 631 cities that applied earlier that year.

On October 29, 2021, the local government unit of Manila, led by Moreno, received three awards at the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Digital Governance Awards 2021 (LGUs Best Practices in Information and Communication Technology). The COVID-19 Testing Center “Web-Lab-IS” Award – Best in LGU Empowerment Award (city level) at first place, the City of Manila “Connection for Inclusion” Award – Best in Customer Empowerment Award (city level) at first place, and the Business Permit Licensing Service (BPLS) – Best in Business Empowerment Award for its GO Manila App end-to-end solution (city level) at second place.

Moreno was named one of the “Philippines’ Most Exceptional Men of 2022” by the Mrs. Universe Philippines Foundation in April 2022. Since 2019, Moreno has donated approximately P100 million of his talent fees from various product endorsements to charity.

Moreno signed legislation that provides a monthly allowance of P1,000 to each student at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and the Universidad de Manila. Similarly, all Grade 12 students in all public schools in Manila will receive a P500 monthly allowance via “cash cards.” To qualify, the student must be a city resident and registered voter, and they must not have a failing grade or commit misconduct in school. If the student is not yet of voting age, his or her parent or guardian must be a registered voter in order for the student to receive the monetary benefit.

Senior citizens, people with disabilities (PWDs), and single parents living in the capital are entitled to a monthly allowance of P500. In addition to their monthly allowance of P500, the elderly would receive P800 and a cake as a birthday gift from the city government.

Moreno signed an ordinance protecting members of the LGBT community from discrimination and abuse, including denial of employment and other opportunities based on sexual gender identity, in October 2020.

Moreno’s infrastructure projects include redeveloping the historic Jones Bridge, constructing a 10-story 384-bed building at the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, and redeveloping the Manila Zoo, which reopened on December 30, 2021. The Flora V. Valisno de Siojo Dialysis Center, named after former mayor Alfredo Lim’s grandmother, is another of Moreno’s projects.

Moreno also oversaw the construction and inauguration of the Manila Islamic Cemetery and Cultural Hall within the Manila South Cemetery, the city’s first Muslim-only cemetery.

Moreno and his administration oversaw the development of high-rise in-city housing projects such as the Tondominium 1 and 2, as well as the Binondominium. Illegal settlers and tenants from Baseco Compound were awarded townhouses in Manila’s community housing project called “BaseCommunity” in July 2021. BaseCommunity’s Phase 2 is also in the works.

In 2020, the city government of Manila, led by Moreno, sold a portion of the land where the Divisoria Public Market is located, a patrimonial property that is a part of the old Divisoria Mall, to private company Festina Holdings Inc. as a prerogative to alleviate the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic after President Duterte declared that the national government was running out of funds to provide aid. The decision was made following the recommendation of the city’s Assets Management Committee, which was tasked with looking for assets in the city that were idle, underutilized, or no longer beneficial.

The city budgeted P227.5 million ($4.45 million) to assist families affected by the quarantine. On March 18, 2020, Moreno directed that all Manila lodging facilities provide free lodging for front-line health workers such as doctors and nurses throughout the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. Moreno drafted a resolution ordering the release of the city government employees’ mid-year bonuses in order to assist them financially. Another resolution was also passed, allocating funds and providing cash assistance for the city’s job orders and contractualized workers.

The City of Manila announced the conduct of localized mass targeted testing for COVID-19 on April 13, 2020. The Delpan Quarantine Facility and the six city-owned district hospitals were able to produce 1,624 swab tests weekly.

Moreno launched the city’s drive-thru testing facility on July 15, 2020, where passengers in vehicles can undergo free COVID-19 testing near the Bonifacio Shrine in Ermita. The drive-thru facility was open to both city residents and non-residents, making it the country’s first of its kind. The city government opened a second drive-thru testing facility at the Quirino Grandstand three days later.
The city government also built the Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital in Rizal Park in 52 days, the first of its kind in the country, which opened on June 25, 2021.

Moreno declared his candidacy for the Philippine presidency in the May 2022 election on September 22, 2021 with Willie Ong, a physician and social media personality as his vice presidential running mate. Following the announcement, Ong left the Lakas-CMD party to join Moreno’s Aksyon Demokratiko.

Moreno’s approval rating fell in the most recent Pulse Asia voter preference survey, obtaining only 4% in the survey conducted from April 16 to 21, 2022. The survey was conducted in part during the days following Moreno’s, Senator Panfilo Lacson’s, and former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales’ April 17 Eatser Sunday press conference at the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

Moreno laughed off his dismal Pulse Asia ratings and wished himself luck in the May 9 elections. Senator Manny Pacquiao overtakes Moreno for the No. 3 spot.

According to the survey, which included face-to-face interviews with 2,400 adults, Presidential bets Bongbong Marcos received a 56% preference rating, while VP Leni Robredo received a 23% rating.

Moreno is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Rho and a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles – Philippine Eagles’ Davao Durian Eagles Club. Moreno believes in legitimate multi-level marketing.

*This is not a campaign endorsement. This is a three-part profile piece (Leni Robredo, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and Isko Moreno) to help you choose your Presidential candidate for the election on May 9, 2022.

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