Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno was still busy working even during the holidays. He said although he dreams of becoming Manila mayor someday, he will not opposed Mayor Joseph Estrada’s plan to run for second term.
He doesn’t want political arguments and divisions anymore. That will not do anything good for the city.
Last Christmas, Isko spent the day with Mayor Erap, giving gifts for the less fortunate people. Their gift-giving continued even days before New Year. It’s nice to give back to the people who supported them.
On New Year, the city was busy with their fireworks display.
Isko also shared that Manila will soon be a WiFi City. This is the first in the country. They are now working on Taft Avenue from Espana. Soon, there will be free WiFi in Roxas Boulevard and some portions of Malate, university belt in Central Manila, and South Manila.
This will allow people to have savings on their cellular data bills. At least, when they are in Manila, they will be able to surf the Internet even while they are stuck in traffic. This will be helpful to journalists as well because they are always trying to meet their deadlines.
“Because of this technology, we can still work even though we’re at a standstill o hindi ka gumagalaw.” Isko said he wants people to be productive even if they are in the middle of a traffic standstill.
It will not cost the city anything. It will be done by the private sector.
The year 2014 was a tough one for the city of Manila, Isko said. There are challenges in the city, so he thinks 2015 will be another rough year because the city was bankrupted by the previous administration of Mayor Alfredo Lim.
Out of the P4.4-billion debt Mayor Lim left, Mayor Erap was able to pay P3 billion. This 2015, Isko hopes Manila will be fiscally healthy.
By the time he gets his chance to run as mayor, Manila will be hopefully in a better place. But this is a long-term plan, he assured. Mayor Erap is aware of his plans, and he supports him.
But in case Mayor Erap still wants to run for second term, Isko will definitely give way because it’s for the betterment of the city. It’s just a personal dream for him to be mayor. What’s more important is his dreams for Manila.
He revealed their plans for Manila. They already built in four months the largest and most high-tech command center. Because of this, they were tapped by the committee arranging Pope Francis’ visit to head the security team.
After being a WiFi City, Isko wants Manila to have physical developments. But first of all, it needs to be debt-free because the development of the city all boils down to funding. “Without it, if you have a bankrupt government, you cannot do something about it.”
By 2015, Manila will be hopefully free from debts.
There were reports that even if Mayor Erap will not seek a second term, his wife Senator Loi Ejercito will be the one to replace him. Isko said these are merely tales in the barbershop.
What the vice mayor assured is that he will definitely run in 2016–whether as a barangay kagawad, barangay chairman or even in Congress or Senate.
Before the holiday season, Isko flew to the United States to study at the Harvard University. He already took his master’s degree there, as well as at Oxford University, but he went to Harvard again for a short course on “Emerging Leaders.”
Isko said his course at Oxford University (Strategic Leadership) was more difficult.
When he has time, he makes sure to take short courses or executive programs from different universities around the world. “Akalain mo, basurero lang, nakakapag-aral sa Harvard at sa Oxford?”
Meanwhile, even though he’s busy with public affairs, he has quite a family life. He has five children already, with his eldest being 15 years old.
There are still offers for him to go back to showbiz. He has a cameo role in the MMFF entry “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo.”
But still, Isko doesn’t want to make heavier projects because he wants to focus on his work as a public servant.