Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer and Manila Mayor Francisco Isko Moreno Domagoso has vowed that if elected president, he will emulate the courage and bravery of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in his war against poverty, hunger, and equality in the country.
“With the mercy of God and the people, I became president, and Doc Willie (Ong) became vice president, I don’t think of going to war. I don’t want us to join any kind of war. Because what I want is a war, for us to fight the hardships of the people, the pain of the stomach, the peace of mind in every Filipino’s life. That is the war I want to enter,” Moreno told reporters after a town hall meeting in San Miguel, Bulacan on Saturday.
“And what Zelensky is doing is worth emulating. Something for leaders to emulate. That a leader, not a coward, does not hide, is not afraid and accompanies his people, and he understands the situation of his people. And today, the war we face is a war of human poverty, human fear, human security, human future. that’s the war I will face, and I’ll be with you all the way,” Moreno said, before more than a thousand supporters.
The 47-year-old presidential bet has vowed that he will pursue a “Life and Livelihood” economic policy that aims to address poverty, hunger, unemployment, inequality, and social injustice through an inclusive and equitable infrastructure development program as spelled out under his 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda.
He said to achieve this, the first two years of an ‘Isko Moreno presidency’ will focus on building facilities that will provide the minimum basic needs of the people – quality housing, education, and health care, and creating jobs and livelihood opportunities.
Nevertheless, Moreno said that if the country’s sovereignty will be threatened under his administration, he will not shrink on his responsibilities to defend the Filipino people even in the face of insurmountable adversities.
“But just the same, nowadays, the situation is fluid, anything is possible. If I’m gonna be put into that situation, here’s what I assure you: I’ll be with you in the streets, I won’t leave you, I’ll be with you. And if that will give high risk to my safety, so be it,” said the Manila city mayor who grew up in the slums of Tondo.
“It is difficult to raise a bank, but at the very least, I will sacrifice my life so that you can calm down. I can’t even guarantee security – we don’t know who will enter our country and what kind of equipment will be used to fight us – but we will not give up,” Moreno added.
The Aksyon Demokratiko presidential candidate said putting one’s life on the line is all part of the occupational hazards in public service, just like the times he placed his life in the frontlines at the Philippine capital at the height of the pandemic and during calamities if only to reassure the people that the government is there for them.
“I even tolerated my family. We fixed the problem of confusion, anxiety and danger. So, I’ll do the same. I’ll offer my life for you and your family and to the entire country,” Moreno said.
And Moreno said he will apply this bravery, courage and patriotism in his quest to address the perennial problems of poverty, hunger, unemployment and inequality once elected president.
“I am not brave, I also have cowardice in life, I am afraid of needles, ghosts, heights. But there are things I don’t back down from, especially if you are the one involved as a citizen. I’ll be with you,” he said.
Given the chance, Moreno said among the first economic policies that his government will introduce is to cut the excise tax of petroleum products by 50 percent to bring down the cost of food production, especially rice, raise the income of farmers and fisherfolk, bring down the prices basic commodities and sustain food production.
To assure farmers of their income, government will buy the surplus produce of farmers at the right price, and issue clear guidelines about the strict importation of agricultural products to make sure that local producers can sell their products first before importation is made.
He also vowed to clamp down on smuggling of agriculture products to protect the interests of local producers, like the hog and chicken raisers in Bulacan, and rice and vegetable farmers all over the country.
Additional support to the agriculture sector includes providing risk-free capitals to farmers and fisherfolk; building more irrigation systems while improving the efficiency of existing ones; establishment of cold storage facilities across the country and in major production areas; and establishing the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, among others.
Under Moreno’s Economic Agenda, the government will be a major driver in the creation of better jobs and opportunities by providing various interventions and support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which comprises the majority of businesses in the country and employs around 63 percent of the total workforce.
Besides building more housing, world-class hospitals, modern public schools, and inter-island linkages, Moreno’s accelerated infrastructure program also prioritizes building more power plants, both conventional and renewable, to ensure a stable and affordable supply of electricity to grow the economy and attract foreign investments, thus provide more jobs.