Isko Moreno eyes Makati formula for Manila in mayoral run

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2019 02:04 PM | Updated as of Apr 01 2019 02:59 PM

Manila mayoral candidate Isko Moreno speaks at a political debate at the University of the Philippines. March 29, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA--Isko Moreno, one of 3 candidates for mayor in the capital, said Monday that he will replicate in Manila the social services of neighboring Makati City, if he wins in the May 13 elections. 

The Makati government, which has an annual budget of some P15 billion to P16 billion, gives P1,000 monthly to its senior citizens. 

Manila has some P14.8 billion every year, said Moreno. The city can give P500 monthly to its 100,000 senior citizens, for a total of P600 million every year, he added. 
 
"Dadalhin ko ang Makati sa Manila. Mangongopya na lang ako 
social services," Moreno told ANC. 

(I will bring Makati to Manila. I will just copy their social services.) 

MANILA BAY RECLAMATION 

Moreno also said reclamation projects in Manila Bay "will not be [a] priority" if he is elected mayor. 

The capital, he said, has other prime lands that can be developed in the Escolta, Binondo, Malate and Ermita districts. 

Scientists should also study the reclamation's possible impact, Moreno said, noting that flooding is already a problem in Manila, which is 3 inches below sea level and is surrounded by creeks. 

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TRACK RECORD 

Moreno, a former matinee idol, he said he suffered "hurtful" insults over his education background when he first entered politics. 
 
"Medyo nakatikim ako ng masasakit na salita because at that time high school [graduate] lang ako... 'Bobo iyan, artista lang iyan, wala iyang alam,'" he said. 

(I got a taste of hurtful words because at that time I was only a high school graduate. Some said, 'he's stupid, he's just a celebrity, he doesn't know anything.') 

"I took it differently, instead na gamitin ko lang iyung pag-aartista ko't itsura, kung may itsura man... like what others did, sabi ko, iyun pala ang kulang ko, nag-aral ako." 

(Instead of using my celebrity status and looks, if I do have looks, like what others did, I said that's my flaw. I studied.) 

Moreno took a legislation course at the University of the Philippines (UP) National College of Public Administration and Governance. He also enrolled in executive programs at John F. Kennedy School of Governance in Harvard and Oxford University. 

He said he also refrained from rushing his political career, serving 9 years first as counselor and then as vice mayor, under the terms of both Estrada and former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. 

RIFT WITH ESTRADA 

In 2016, Moreno unsuccessfully ran for senator instead of mayor, to give way to reelection bid of Estrada, to whom he was close, he said. 

Estrada, he said, stopped talking to him after the last elections without offering any explanation. "Walang tawag, walang 'Kamusta ka pare.' Alam mo iyung feeling na para kang damit, madumi na, tapon mo na," said Moreno. 

(There was no call, no 'how are you.' I felt as if I was a piece of soiled clothing that was thrown away.) 

Estrada, he said, seems to be losing control of Manila as shown by some of his relatives' alleged move to meddle with the city's affairs. 

Most of Manila's city hall officials, he added, are residents of San Juan, where Estrada built a political dynasty some 50 years ago. 

"In Manila, we cannot allow anymore passive leadership," said Moreno.