Isko Moreno vows to prioritize Visayas, Mindanao in infrastructure program
ILOILO City — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday vowed that if elected president, his administration will infuse more infrastructure development in Visayas and Mindanao to accelerate the economy and bring about a more inclusive and equitable economic growth.
In a media interview at the La Paz public market, the Aksyon Demokratiko presidential aspirant noted that while the country continues to post economic growth, it is felt mostly in urban centers like Metro Manila, and far-flung areas are mostly left behind, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“I’ve been going around the country and I am happy for some provinces that there is enough infrastructure development. But more provinces need more development – whether it is irrigation, whether it is farming, agriculture, fisheries or any other industries that may benefit them,” Moreno said.
“If elected, may awa ang Diyos, sa tulong ng tao, investments in terms of infusing development, a peso spent in Metro Manila will never give us much economic growth because of the principle of the Law of Diminishing Returns. But the same peso spent in the provinces will give us more upside in terms of return. So, you will see more developments in far-flung areas,” Moreno explained.
The 47-year-old presidential aspirant said his commitment to boost countryside development was further reinforced when he visited the birthplace of his father in San Joaquin, and later on in Antique.
“Nakita ko talaga kung bakit nagpunta ang tatay ko sa Maynila. Talaga palang napakahirap ng buhay sa bundok,” he said.
Under the Diminishing Returns principle, a Moreno government would focus limited government resources to poor provinces where it is more needed. He has likened this strategy to prioritizing giving pizza to a family who eats only dried fish, and not to a family who already enjoys lechon.
Moreno said this strategy “will not only accelerate economic growth, but will also accelerate the reduction of inequality among Filipinos.”
Accelerating economic growth while promoting equality is spelled out under the Bilis Kilos 10-Point Agenda for Governance under an Isko Moreno presidency that prioritizes the provision of the minimum basic needs and other social services, and an open and transparent government.
To achieve this, Moreno said he will continue the Build, Build, Build Program of the Duterte administration to create more jobs.
Simultaneously, he said his administration will also embark on its own Build, Build, Build – to build more public housing, more public hospitals, more public schools, more jobs and more opportunities.
Citing the Cebu-Cordova Bridge that connects Mactan Island via the Municipality of Cordova to Mainland Cebu, Moreno said he also plans to build bridges across major islands of the Philippine archipelago which will not just facilitate the exchange of goods and services, but will also serve as tourism circuits and tourism highways.
Moreno said such infrastructure investments will further add more jobs and lead to the formation of more micro, small and medium industries (MSMEs), thus further creating more job opportunities.
“If they can do it there, we can do it here, and we can do it anywhere in a short period of time,” he said.
Moreno however emphasized that all his decisions and plans of action will be determined by a thorough consultation with the people since the welfare of the people will be the heart of his presidency.
“It will be a people-oriented approach, ang pupuhunanan natin ang taong bayan, tao muna,” Moreno told media.
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