Presidential candidate and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso is open to use the controversial Manila Bay Dolomite Beach as another COVID-19 vaccination site.
“If it’s feasible, why not? That’s a very good idea, but is the construction finished, and will people be safe? That’s always our concern,” Domagoso told reporters in Filipino during the opening of the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden as the latest vaccination site for minors and senior citizens.
Domagoso on Monday night also led the inauguration of the newly-refurbished Plaza Asuncion in Malate, one of the many projects promised – and fulfilled – by the 47-year-old local executive for the people of the city when he campaigned for the mayorship in 2019.
“I’m happy for you. I had made a promise to you and today there is a proof for it,” Moreno told Manileňos as he inaugurated the fully-lighted public space that is now replete with fountains, good quality benches and speakers for background music.
Although the city has been conducting the vaccination in secluded places, Domagoso said conducting vaccination at the Dolomite Beach is very feasible.
“It’s geographically feasible to hold that function for a particular action plan. But I think it’s okay,” he said.
Dolomite Beach is located on Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard, which makes if accessible to any public transportation. People can easily go to the vaccination site and get their anti-COVID shots.
Domagoso said construction in the area should be finished to assure the safety of people before the beach can be used as a vaccination site.
The P389-million artificial beach is a project by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. It was first opened to the public in September 2020.
After it was closed again for expansion, the beach was reopened to the public in July 2021 and then again in October after quarantine restrictions subsided.
Domagoso has opened three drive-thru booster shot facilities for four-wheel vehicles at the Quirino Grandstand, motorcycles and bicycles at the Kartilya ng Katipunan, and for drivers of public utility vehicles and delivery vans at the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila.
These are in addition to the continuing vaccinations in community health centers and designated public schools and shopping malls in the city.
This also comes after the opening of the newly-redeveloped Manila Zoo as a vaccination center for minors and seniors.
As for Plaza Asuncion, Moreno has promised to rehabilitate the once-drab and blight public plaza when he becomes mayor as part of his goal to open green spaces for Manilenos where they can rest and relax not only physically, but also mentally, after a grueling day.
“The people of Leveriza have long hoped for it to be returned to them, I was still then vice mayor. It has been made into a shooting range, with dogs, cats; hanging out of solvent boys, rotten cars. I said before, when I become mayor, God has mercy, I will fix that. We recovered, then there was a pandemic, but we did it,” Moreno said.
“Just imagine, before, there seemed to be no government here, it was dark, a pile of rotten things. And at least somehow, the place is clear for you,” he added.
But Moreno does not contend himself by just keeping a promise, as he always strived to deliver the best for the people, in both infrastructure and services.
And the best for him means world-class, like the newly-rehabilitated Manila Zoo, the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila, vertical housing like Tondominium and Binondominium, modern 10-story fully-airconditioned public school buildings like the new Manila Science High School; Social services for senior citizens, and assistance to public school students and teachers in the form of allowances, tablets and free bandwidth, among other countless accomplishments that he had delivered.
“By the mercy of God, and with your help, I stood on the stage there, I promised you before, I left a word that sometimes you may say ‘Is what Ko-Is says true?’”
“Student allowance, senior citizen allowance, Manila Hospital, housing… don’t you remember that those were the promises I made on stage. Now my countrymen, by the mercy of God, I will pierce my nose before you. Everything promised in 10 years, happened in just two years,” Moreno proudly said.
“The government can do too much, because many say it is too much. Why is it necessary to lack? Isn’t the man’s right that your service he gets, too? It’s not possible, let’s not be content with that. We need first class, that’s the people’s money,” he added.
The 47-year-old presidential aspirant said his overriding ambition to give the best for the people was born out of his love for the people, for them not to experience what he had experienced as a poor boy in the slums of Tondo.
“You just don’t know how much I love you. The poverty I experience before, don’t let your children experience it. I also experience the public hospital service before, don’t let them experience it.”
“What you are experiencing now are what we were experiencing when we had money. And also being experienced by ordinary people. That is my dream for each of you,” Moreno stressed.
Moreno’s love for the people and leadership style was affirmed by Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, who described Moreno as a man of action and an epitome of solid-rock reliability in these trying times.
“He continues to dream for the good of every Manila child. It is sleepless and really fast in acting and responding to the basic needs of fellow human beings and serves as our mainstay, especially in this time when we are facing a global health crisis,” Lacuna said.
“Yorme is in the hearts of our Manilans, and a leader every Filipino needs,” she said.
This kind of leadership is what Moreno wants foremost for the Filipino people to have when he applied for the highest position of the country, campaigning on a “Buhay at Kabuhayan” platform that places the welfare of the people above all else.
But while he had set aside his “Listening Tour” to focus all his efforts in fighting the Omicron surge gripping the country, Moreno said he still believes that destiny and the people’s will deal him a good hand.
“God has mercy. It may not be a sin for this nation for God to punish us by giving us leaders who will persecute us. Nothing is perfect. I am not perfect. I am no angel. I am not an angel, but I, continue to believe in God, we will not be forsaken, this country will not be ruined,” the Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer stressed.
“So, if you want to be different, let’s do something different,” said Moreno.
Be that as it may, Moreno said that wherever fate takes him in his journey, his head will always remain high if only for delivering on his promises, and delivering what is best, for the people of Manila.
“Wherever destiny takes me, wherever opportunity takes me, and at least I can walk in any corner of Manila with my forehead level. Because my saliva was pawned by the people of Manila. Because that’s all I have, my saliva can be pledged,” he said.
“So I’m happy to fulfill the things I said and going beyond what I promised,” said Moreno.