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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Despite looming P13-T debt, Isko to push projects

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With the specter of inheriting an estimated P13-trillion debt, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday said that if elected president, he will finance his ambitious projects under his 10-point Economic Agenda though an effective, efficient and prudent management of government resources under an open, transparent and inclusive administration.

“The thing is we must continue to pursue, we really need to encourage our countrymen to continue to dream and have hope that these dreams will come true, which is having a prudent and efficient management, which we also did in Manila City,” Moreno said during the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas Presidential Candidates Forum.

The 47-year-old presidential aspirant pointed out that when he became mayor of Manila, the city’s financial status is also in the red, but still managed to bring the Philippine capital into what it is now through good governance.

“When I entered Manila, there was no money, literally zero. But through good governance, through effective, efficient governance, we have come up. Then there was the pandemic, everything we promised the people of Manila, happened. The ten -year promise happened in the two years that were still in the pandemic,” Moreno added.

Moreno’s impressive infrastructure projects in the Philippine capital include six vertical housing projects for informal settlers that are 15 to 20 floors high, like Tondominium and Binondominium, with some having swimming pools and fitness centers.

Then there are the three modern public-school buildings being built that are 10 floors high, each outfitted with around 200 airconditioned classrooms, basketball courts, gyms, and roof decks.

The recently inaugurated 10-storey Bagong Ospital ng Maynila has a 384-bed capacity with 12 intensive care units (ICUs), and 20 private rooms. It also has a three-storey parking building and a helipad for emergency medical evacuations.

These were all undertaken by the City Government of Manila under Moreno’s leadership to provide Manileños, especially the needy, with quality housing, education, and health care and service.

Besides, these projects were all achieved in a single three-year mayoral term without raising taxes and during a pandemic at that, generating a lot of jobs and income at a time when people greatly needed both.

At the height of the pandemic, he distributed, and continues to distribute, tablets and laptops with free bandwidth to public school students and school teachers for the continuing education of the youth.

The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer also set about to digitalize and automate government transactions to facilitate the ease of doing business and efficient collection of taxes, thus reducing human discretion that is the root of corruption.

Through all this, Moreno was also able to pay the debts incurred by his predecessors.

Moreno wants to replicate all these throughout the country should he be elected president under his 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda.

“So, it is not impossible. And the loan must be paid. It is important that we pay our debts,” Moreno said.

During the presidential interviews, Moreno also said that there is nothing wrong if politicians will move from one political party to another as long as their loyalty is to the people.

Moreno admitted that politicians like him use parties as vehicles to secure victory in local and national elections.

He added that the law allows politicians to jump from one political party to another.

“Of course, candidates would like to win in elections so they need vehicles to ensure victory and the law allows it. What matters most at the end of the day — this is the most important thing —is your loyalty is to the people,” he said.

Moreno said serving the people should be the politicians’ “north star” or guide and if the political party is no longer serving the people, it’s no use to stay.

“Even if the person is your party-mate, if he is no good or abusive, or if the political party is no longer in the service of the people, why would you remain loyal? Why would you stay there?” he asked.

Moreno was previously a member of the Nacionalista Party from 2006 to 2012, then he jumped to the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino from 2012 to 2016.

In 2012 to 2014, he was also a member of the United Nationalist Alliance then shifted to the National Unity Party from 2016 to 2021.He is running for president under the Aksyon Demokratiko.

Moreno also vowed to increase budget for housing program as well as establish 107,000 hospital beds in his first 1,000 days in office.

According to Moreno, it is not impossible to fix the government’s fiscal problems.

During the KBP Presidential Candidates Forum, Moreno gave a glimpse of what he did in Manila to address fiscal issues even with the threat of COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreno stressed that effective governance is needed to recover from the adverse effects of the health crisis. He also said the country’s debts should be paid.

He also said the public should be encouraged to pursue their dreams and be more hopeful in their lives.

“We need to encourage the people to continue dreaming and hope that our vision will come true with efficient governance which we did in Manila,” he pointed out.

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