What for many other local government leaders is achievable within 1,000 days, Mayor Isko Moreno —‘Kois’ to those who have known him from way back— accomplished in just 100 days.
There is no denying that drastic changes and positive developments have been taking place in Manila at a very dizzying pace and trust me, media people covering the Manila City Hall beat will totally agree with me.
For nearly two decades, Mayor Kois had been a ‘fence-sitter’ and this is probably one of the reasons why he has a bird’s eyeview of goings-on at City Hall. He had seen the legislative and executive aspects as well as the good and bad side of governance, what clicks and what fails here and there.
He began his career as a Tondo councilor in 1998. After finishing three terms, he ran and overwhelmingly won as vice mayor in 2007, concurrently serving as presiding officer of the 38-member city council for two straight terms.
Mayor Kois was able to work with Mayors Lito Atienza, Alfredo Lim and Erap Estrada. He was city councilor for nine years and vice mayor for six years. He is a true-blue Manileno with a ‘rock bottom’ childhood. He literally grew up in the slums and thus understands the mindset and language of the poor.
Inching his way up in the world of politics, he was also able to rub elbows with the ‘who’s whos’ of high society as well as in the political and business circles, so he also knows how those who definitely have more in life think and act.
These are the very ingredients that make Mayor Kois click. At only 44, he can deal with people from all walks of life, literally. It’s an advantage I guess no other politician enjoys.
Anyway, back to his first 100 days in office. Mayor Kois, this early, already has
a number of legacies which, we could only hope, future mayors will be able to sustain.
Among them is when he jumped the gun even on national government, when he buckled down to work on his first day in office and cleared Divisoria, Recto, Abad Santos and all other similar major thoroughfares of vendors, who practically ruled for years that in fact, we all think that the situation in those areas will remain that way forever. This, as well as clearing the streets of illegal structures and obstructions, were undertaken by Mayor Kois ahead of orders issued by the DILG for local governments to do the same.
Restoring the beauty, cleanliness and true meaning of the Bonifacio Shrine and the Ongpin monument as starters was also for the books. The said shrine is right beside City Hall while Ongpin monument greets those going to the famed Binondo area, home of the world’s biggest Chinatown.
The new mayor also got rid of the notorious illegal terminal at the Plaza Lawton and restored the said plaza to its original purpose, which is to serve as a place of promenade and recreation. Ditto with other parks, monuments and plazas.
And then of course, Mayor Kois, blessed to have an ally vice mayor in the person of Honey Lacuna and the majority of the city councilors to his side, gets to swiftly realize his plans that require legislative backing.
Some of the meaningful administration ordinances ably passed by the city council in no time, with the aid of course of Lacuna, majority floorleader Atty. Joel Chua and Councilor Letlet Zarcal, include a comprehensive social amelioration package that provide, among others, financial assistance for the city’s centenarians, persons with disability, senior citizens and students from the the two city-run universities, the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and the Universidad de Manila.
Mayor Kois also launched a one-stop shop to ease doing business in Manila, way before the anti-red tape authority called on local government units to do the same thing.
All these, plus many more which we can no longer enumerate due to spatial constraints, triggered a world-wide fame for Mayor Kois so that to date, 16 ambassadors have already paid him a courtesy visit, each pledging assistance in various forms, just like what countless private firms and private individuals do.
At the rate he is going, even making the rounds at night and on weekends, Mayor Kois vows to continue turning his days into nights for the sake of Manila. The introduction made of him in one affair is apt— Mayor Kois is indeed, ‘the mayor that never sleeps’.
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