New Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to revive ‘Old Manila’

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Manila Mayor Isko Moreno greets his supporters outside Manila City Hall. (Photo by Deejae S. Dumlao/The Varsitarian)

Newly installed Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Sunday vowed to prioritize the revival of the “Old Manila,” apart from dealing with usual problems like traffic and waste management.

“Let’s bring back the Old Manila. Kumbaga if you read between the lines, you’d go back in time while [facing] the challenges of tomorrow,” Moreno told the Varsitarian at the sidelines of his inauguration as Manila mayor.

Moreno, Manila’s vice mayor from 2007 to 2016, said he would rebuild and maintain parks and regulate the waste management problem in the city.

“[The people] will agree that Manila has deteriorated,” he added. “How can we attract vibrance or make a good impression for foreign investors if [there] is no order and there is garbage everywhere?”

Moreno said his first step as a mayor would be to instill discipline among the Manileños.

“Walang gastos ang taxpayer doon. ‘Yong pagdidisiplina, laway lang ang puhunan,” he said.

In his inauguration speech, he highlighted plans to establish a traffic management institute and to implement an intracity mass transportation system, the Manila Sky Shuttle.

Moreno said the traffic management institute would be established either in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila or in the University of the Philippines-Manila.

Former Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada had claimed that his “Pook Kaayusan” or traffic discipline zones reduced heavy traffic by 50 percent in 2017.

A 2017 survey by the Global firm Boston Consulting Group found that Metro Manila had the third worst traffic situation in Southeast Asia.

The Manila Bay reclamation projects approved by Estrada during his second term will not be a priority, Moreno said. He said he would focus instead on the “safety of the people.” who could be displaced by reclamation.

“Most important of all is I will see to it… that the safety of every people…whether they’re batang Maynila or visiting the city, is protected,” he said.

Estrada approved four multi-billion-peso reclamation projects in Manila Bay, which could lead to the relocation of at least 40,000 families living in the area.

Moreno and his running mate Honey Lacuna took their oaths as mayor and vice mayor of Manila, respectively, before Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin at Manila City Hall’s Bulwagang Katipunan on Sunday.

Moreno, a former Department of Social Welfare and Development undersecretary, won the May 13 mayoral race with 357,925 votes versus Estrada’s 210,605.

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