Isko Moreno to prioritize pandemic response over campaigning; vows to attend presidential interviews
MANILA, Philippines — With two weeks left before the official start of the campaign period for national elective positions, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Monday said he will continue to focus on the Covid-19 pandemic to protect people’s lives, especially through massive and aggressive vaccination.
Moreno made the remark Monday after the blessing of seven new trucks of the Manila City government’s Department of Public Services in Mehan Garden. Speaking to journalists, Moreno said that despite the downtrend of Covid-19 infections in the city, there is no room for complacency as the threat of the highly transmissible Omicron variant remains.
“Kasi iyang COVID, there is no point to govern kung lahat namamatay, lahat nagkakasakit. Kailangan maramdaman ng tao na meron syang gobyernong masasandalan…Ang kampanya it’s one of the least priority ko sa ngayon” said the 47-year-old presidential aspirant.
Pressed by reporters to elaborate, Moreno said his duties and responsibilities as mayor come first, as he has pledged to the people of Manila that they will be his priority when he ran for the position almost three years ago.
“Basta ako tao muna. Gampanan ko muna ang dapat kung gampanan. Then I’ll cross the bridge when I get there. We’ll see. Basta titingnan natin paano muna natin mapapanatag ang tao na okay ang ating sitwasyon. Between my responsibility as a mayor and being a candidate, dun ako sa una. Talagang hindi ko priority sa ngayon ang kampanya,” Moreno explained.
Moreno, however, expressed his readiness to attend as many presidential interviews as possible to reach more people so they would know his plans and programs of governance and where he stands on the different issues affecting the country.
“As many as possible. Hangga’t kaya natin ‘yung schedule. Basta sa akin ang priority ko ‘yung katatayuan ng tao. Mayakap ‘yung kayang yakapin. Mailigtas ‘yung kayang iligtas. Tao muna, ‘dun muna ako. Tapos halimbawa may swak sa schedule ko, then so be it. Ano naman tayo, we must be open as much as possible,” Moreno pointed out.
Moreno maintained that if his schedule permits, he intends to attend the presidential interviews organized by the mainstream media because it is the right of the Filipino people to know what each and every candidate brings to the table as they seek the highest position in the land.
“We submit ourselves to regular interviews, eh aplikante tayo sa taumbayan eh. I think karapatan ng taumbayan na makita tayo at marinig bawat kandidato. Katulad niyan, meron kami sa ABS-CBN naman etong week na ‘to kay Boy Abunda. Tayo tuluy-tuloy lang,” he said.
In between media fora and interviews, Moreno said his main focus is the non-stop vaccination drives and the stockpiling of life-saving Covid-19 drugs such as Baracitinib, Tocilizumab, Remdesivir and Molnupiravir.
The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer said that in the nine days that the 24/7 booster caravan has been operating in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, about 26,000 individuals on board 10,100 vehicles were able to receive booster shots, thus giving them additional protection from Covid-19.
“Then dito naman sa ating Kartilaya para sa 2-wheel motorized and non-motorized, we have served almost 15,000 individuals. ‘Yung atin namang public utility vehicle para sa sidecar boy, pedicab driver, jeepney driver, taxi driver, delivery truck driver, meron na tayong about 4,000 na nabakunahan. So tuluy-tuloy lang ‘yon, then tuluy-tuloy pa rin ‘yung ating pagbibigay ng free test swab sa lungsod. Meron tayo sa drive thru, meron tayo sa anim na ospital. So, balik tayo sa focus. Mailigtas ang tao hanggang maaari. Pilitin nating mabuhay ‘yung mga infected,” Moreno said.
Moreno further said: “At the rate we are going, with our capacity, salamat sa Diyos ‘yung occupancy natin sa Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital manageable at about 30 percent. Same thing with our six district hospitals with regard sa Covid-19 soccupancy rate. So far, okay naman. Downtrend na ‘yung ng Omicron o ng coronavirus for that matter. ‘Yun ang importante sa kabuhayan. Back to normal. Learn to live with Covid-19 and go back to work safely.”
During the Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews aired over GMA 7 on Saturday, Moreno said he will institute a decisive government whose main focus is the welfare of the people and the upliftment of the poor; fighting corruption and criminality while observing due process and the rule of law.
To do this, the presidential aspirant said his first priorities for the first two years of his administration would be the fast-tracking of the delivery of minimum basic needs to all Filipino families to help them recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic through his “Life and livelihood platform of governance.”
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