Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso said the nation’s capital remains strong and united despite the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his second State of the City Address, Domagoso touted the successes of the first year of his administration—higher revenue collections, consistent cleaning operations, grand infrastructure projects and social welfare programs.
The Mayor said his administration was able to excel despite challenges and crisis brought by various calamities, including the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“Despite COVID-19, the state of the city is strong and its future secure,” the Mayor told members of the Manila City Council.
“Every generation is faced with a crisis that tests their mettle and probe the strength of their character. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only the Battle fo Manila but also the battle of our generation,” he stressed.
Higher revenue collections
The coffers of the nation’s capital under Domagoso’s leadership grew by P693 million compared to the previous administration’s revenue collections from July 2018 to May 2019.
Data from the City Treasurer’s Office showed that the Domagoso administration was able to collect P12.441 billion, on top of the implementation of a tax amnesty and the economic impact of COVID-19.
More businesses have also opened in the City of Manila during the first year of Domagoso’s leadership, with 8,665 newly-registered businesses and 51,022 renewed businesses.
The Manila City government was also the first local government unit to introduce a digital platform for real-time transactions and online payment of taxes, certificates and assessment fees, among others.
Domagoso touted the “Go! Manila” mobile application and website where residents can transact with the local government without physically going to the Manila City Hall.
“Wala nang pila, wala nang cueing, walang cut-off. Hindi mo na kailangan umabsent sa trabaho, kung nasaan ka man sa mundo,” the Mayor said.
Cleaning the nation’s capital was also a top priority of the Domagoso administration.
In its first year, the Manila Department of Public Services (DPS) was able to haul 566,904 tons of garbage. This is equivalent to 112,981 garbage trucks.
Various city government departments have also been consistently conducting clean-up activities and flushing operations across the capital.
Domagoso stressed his intent to build grand infrastructure programs for Manila City residents, including five key projects which will begin construction soon.
The Mayor said the local government will build Tondominium 1, Tondominium 2, Binondominium, the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila and the Bagong Manila Zoo.
“My desire to bring back the glory of Manila is translated into the physical development projects that we are now implementing. Tinawag natin itong #BuildBuildManila,” Domagoso said.
Rehabilitation of heritage sites and construction of more green spaces are also underway in the City of Manila, the Mayor said.
“Our physical development plans also aim to increase our green spaces and preserving our heritage and culture,” he said.
Jobs for Manilans
Providing access to jobs and opportunities to Manila City residents have also been among the key programs implemented by the Domagoso administration.
The Mayor said the Manila Public Employment Service Office (PESO) was able to provide jobs for nearly 5,000 Manila City residents from July 2019 to June 2020.
This includes 555 senior citizens and 96 persons with disability who were given opportunities by the city government, the Mayor said.
Peace and Order
The Mayor also touted the city government’s crackdown on criminal activities and illegal drug trade in the nation’s capital.
“Hindi ko papayagan na pamahayan ang ating lungsod ng mga kriminal, at kung sino man ang magtatangka, tiyak na mamamatay sa puyat sapagkat hindi natin sila titigilan kakahanap,” Domagoso said.
As of July 2, about 898 wanted persons have been arrested by the Manila Police District (MPD), 173 of whom were considered “most wanted persons.”
About P96 million worth of shabu and P2.9 million worth of marijuana have also been seized by the MPD, while P277,529 worth of illegal gambling equipment were also confiscated.
Looking forward, Domagoso assured his constituents that the Manila City government will remain relentless in its efforts to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mayor vowed to create programs to stimulate economic activity and to provide jobs to affected workers in line with the “new normal” under the pandemic.
“Hindi tayo titigil. Umasa kayo na ipagpapatuloy natin ang ating pagsisikap na pangalagaan ang buhay habang ibinabalik natin ang kabuhayan,” Domagoso said.
“Hindi ko ito kayang mag-isa. Kailangan ko ang inyong tulong at dasal. Hindi natin kailangan na paghiwalayin ang buhay at kabuhayan,” he said.