Isko Moreno vows to improve Samar’s infrastructure if he wins presidency
CALBAYOG CITY, Western Samar, Philippines – Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Monday vowed to continue the “Build, Build, Build” program in the whole of Samar to help uplift the lives of residents in one of the poorest islands in the country.
Moreno made the statement when asked to comment about the absence of infrastructure projects on the island, which is composed of Northern, Eastern and Western Samar.
“Alam mo ang Samar, correct me if I’m wrong, for the past 60 years walang na-elect dito na national official. I mean in a national level, walang senador ‘to, walang vice president ‘to, wala pa kayong presidente, 60 years mahigit. I think the last time was in the 1950s. My point baka napapanahon naman na, itong Waray-Waray nating mga kababayan, kahit anong kulay ng partido nila sa lokal, baka naman pwede nyong pagkaisahan? Yung anak ng Waray, di ba?” Moreno said.
Moreno’s mother, Rosario “Nanay Chayong” Moreno, hails from Allen town, Northern Samar. His father, Joaquin Domagoso was from Antique on Panay island. This makes Mayor Isko a full-blooded Visayan – one-half Waray and one-half Ilonggo.
“Bakit napag-iwanan? Ang Samar isa sa pinakamahirap na bayan na probinsya dahil sa again and again, basta ako straight-forward facts lang, 21 years binigyan natin ng pagkakataon yung pula, good for them, nakaraan na ‘yon. Eighteen years, binigyan natin ng pagkakataon mga dilaw, okay na ‘yun, nagdaan na yun. Twenty-one plus 18, bale 39 years kumusta naman kayo? Yan ang sagutin ninyo. Kaya kung gusto niyo maiba naman, kami ni Doc Willie, ni Samira Gutoc, ni Carl Balita, ni Jopet Sison nag-aapply ng trabaho, pagbubutihan po namin, maiba naman,” Moreno explained.
Samar is the third largest island in the country and faces the Pacific Ocean making it one of the most vulnerable regions to typhoons. Repeated natural disasters combined with a poor geographical location not conducive to development makes life even harder for residents here.
If elected president, Moreno vowed to address the perennial problems of poverty, hunger, unemployment, inequality and social injustice in the country by focusing on providing the minimum basic needs of the people – housing, education, health care and jobs – through the efficient and prudent management of government resources. These form the main pillars of his 10-Point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda.
“Syempre ang gagawin natin kung tayo ay nasa pandemya pa syempre yung ayuda katulad ngayon na ginagawa namin sa Maynila maitawid lang natin yung ating mga kababayan, naipangako ko na yun na kung anong nangyari sa Maynila patungkol sa ayuda, itutuloy natin sa buong Pilipinas. O yun namang minimum basic needs, ospital, for example yung Bagong Ospital ng Maynila, 10-storey fully-air-conditioned hospital gagawa tayo nakausap ko nag-agree na kami ni Doc Willie at ng mga kasama na maglalagay kami ng 17 na 10-story fully- air-conditioned with equipment public free hospital,” Moreno said.
To improve the country’s health care system, Moreno said his administration will build more public hospitals and health care centers throughout the country, with a target of providing 107,000 additional hospital beds in his first 1,000 days in office.
“Tapos yung cancer center, gustong-gustong gawin ni Doc Willie. Then yung infectious disease hospital suggestion din ni Doc Willie. Tapos yung maraming eskwelahan, katulad nito Samar nakikita mo kailangang-kailangan ito ng imprastraktura dahil ang haba ng byahe bawat bayan at maraming island community so we will try to do especially kung ano ang kailangan doon sa lugar,” he said.
Similar to what he did in Manila, the 47-year-old presidential candidate will also prioritize the handing out of Ayuda (cash and food assistance) to Filipino families affected by the Covid-19 which is also spelled out in the economic agenda, specifically under Labor and Employment, that will be his administration’s “North Star” to accelerate human and economic growth.
“As a general concept of governance in the first two years may awa ang Dyos bigyan nyo ako ng pagkakataon na maging presidente kasama ang aking partner na si Doc Willie, si Jopet, si Sam, at saka si Carl ang bibigyan ko talaga ng diin is life and livelihood, buhay, alagaan, ingatan, malusog. Kabuhayan, makapagnegosyo, makapagtrabaho, at yung mga magsasaka gumaang ang pamumuhay,” Moreno said.
Moreno also plans to boost the country’s digital infrastructure by building and completing a national fiber backbone that will connect all schools, government offices and industries that rely heavily on internet connectivity.
Moreno said he is also committed to cut on the excise tax on petroleum products by 50 percent as this would directly benefit not only poor people but also the middle class who have been at the receiving end of the weekly price increases of crude oil.
The presidential aspirant is also planning another 50-percent tax break on electricity as this will be beneficial not only to consumers of electricity but also to owners of business enterprises since this would mean additional savings (translated as income) for all.
“And I am telling you this, eto baka hindi nyo pa nalalaman, hirap na hirap yung mga magsasaka natin ngayon. About a year ago nweve syentos yung fertilizer ngayon dos mil mahigit na, sad to say, that’s a fact. Tapos yung pagpapababa natin ng kuryente at ng presyo ng kuryente at ng krudo. And I do believe it’s high time to have a better, high-speed connectivity in terms of communication patungkol sa internet,” Moreno pointed out.
In another media interview, Moreno maintained he has no intention of backing out from the presidential race and is determined to continue his quest for the presidency.
Moreno made the remark when asked by reporters in this city for his reaction after a news website reported over the weekend that a presidential candidate has reportedly decided “to throw in the towel” and is set to end his campaign just as it’s taking him off from the ground.
“Maghahanap tayo ng tunay na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon kaya gagawin natin itutuloy natin ang laban. Ako naman buong kababaang loob mga kababayan samahan nyo po kami ni Doc Willie, samahan nyo kami ni Jopet, ni Carl Balita at saka ni Sam. Eto laban natin ito, tayo ‘to, maiba naman, tao naman,” Moreno said.
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