By Marjaleen Ramos
Newly-elected Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday promised to “move heaven and earth” to immediately clean up the city and to seek the wisdom of his predecessors – former President Joseph Estrada and former Mayor Alfredo Lim – in managing the capital city.
“If they have ideas, I’m willing to learn from them. There’s no monopoly of knowledge,” he said.
The former Manila vice mayor and Social Welfare undersecretary said that he made a commitment that he will clean the City of Manila which he described as being in the “healing portion.”
Domagaso vowed to solve Manila’s garbage problem and clean up the city immediately
“I’ll move heaven and earth to clean up the city. Dugyot kami eh. Paliliguan ko lang naman,” he said.
Aside from cleaning the city, Domagoso’s plans include creating jobs, healthcare, and tourism similar to other cities like Taguig and Makati. He said he will re-focus on developing the business district of Manila and Binondo.
Domagoso also mentioned his plan to create a permanent area for street vendors specifically in Divisoria, Binondo, and on C.M. Recto Avenue to avoid traffic congestions.
“Hahayaan kong makapamuhay ang tao, pero hindi ko hahayaang wala ng gobyerno sa Lungsod ng Maynila.” (I will allow them to earn a living but I will not let them do that under a state of anarchy.)
He said he wants to convert the islands in the middle of major roads for public use to make it more convenient for the street vendors.
“I’m going to have three lanes in the middle tapos bibigyan ko ng pwesto ang vendor.”
Domagoso asked his supporters to reconcile with friends and family now that the elections are over. “I don’t want to lead a divided city.”
He also clarified that he has nothing personal against Estrada and said that he is open to speaking with him for a smooth transition.
Domagoso described his winning as “a humbling experience. Lahat naman ng kandidato gustong manalo, pero yung result kasi is overwhelming. Parang people are expecting more now.”
He also assured manila City Hall employees loyal to the previous local executives that they will not be removed from their posts for as long as they are protected by civil service law.
“Just do your job and you will be welcome to be part of ‘Bagong Maynila.’ Those with security of tenure are protected by civil service law,” Domagoso said.
Building a new city hall at Liwasang Bonifacio to give employees spacious working spaces is one of his main projects.
On plans for in-city public housing, Domagoso said he does not want to give houses similar to the house of pigeons. “Gawin nating two-bedroom. 42 square meters minimum. Gagawin ko rin naman, gagawin ko nang disente.”
Domagoso also debunked claims that he is a gambler and a frequent visitor to casinos.
“I’m not a gambler. I play sugal, cara y cruz, palmo, tong-its, bingo, ‘pag nasa patay ako. You know why? Kasi gusto ko iparamdam sa tao na kahit umangat ako.. kaya mo ‘kong abutin.”
Domagoso also allayed fears that he is sick. “I am not sick. I am healthy because I drink healthy drinks. I drink alcohol pero mas madalang pa sa pag-bilog ng buwan.”
Domagoso was proclaimed mayor of Manila before dawn on Tuesday. He started his political career as a councillor for Manila’s first district in 1998.