BATANG MAYNILA

Be it vaccination or education, in Manila, it is never a requisite to present a voter’s ID. It is also never a “requirement” for one to present a Manila zip code just to be able to enroll in college of be accepted in any of the hospitals being run by the city government.

In Manila, during this time of the pandemic, there is no such thing as “No Manila ID, No Entry.”

I grew up under the mindset of being of help to others in whatever way I can and not to make things harder for the poor. I believe the poor deserve “red carpet treatment,” not “red tape.”

I also learned early on in life that while poverty dehumanizes, it must not take the humanity out of you.

Yes, I grew up poor, but I was never rude. Since I put my hand on a Bible to take my oath of office, I have been a believer that trust resides in the people, action in those elected into office and mercy in God.

I have been into a lot of thinking as to what road to take when the time comes. Like many of you, I also reached the so-called crossroad – should I take the high but hard road with people or abandon them and take an easy stroll alone? There are hindrances I have to contend with, hurdles I have to surmount.

First of all, I don’t belong to a large clan. I am neither a son or a daughter of a president.

You won’t see in any peso bill the faces of my penniless ancestors. There are also no roads, streets, or even just an alley or a waiting shed named Domagoso. I was the only one who pulled myself out of the gutter.

My surname is a lone ranger in government. I am the only Domagoso in the government directory and the name I carry is also “missing in action” in the social registry. And amid all these, there are some who say that I am not ripe or too young.

I have been in public service for 23 long years, or half my life. I can’t blame those who may be deceived by my young looks. It is a blessing for which I am thankful to God.

In the coming days, I will present my platform of governance. It is grand, but definitely doable since I was already able to do it in Manila. I am running not on promises but on “prototypes” or solid proof.

I may not be able to come up with a perfect government but with everybody’s support, we can do our best.

“Open governance policy” will be our basic guide. Why? Because we will keep an open mind and lend an ear to new ideas, opinions and the readiness of those who want to take part in decision-making.

Opposing views and criticisms will also be welcome since this will bring about better policies and ultimately, services. Thus, I will form the broadest form of government with the best and brightest at its helm.

A leader should not only think outside the box, he must also choose people outside his circle. A leader who does not inspire the best among us to serve in government ends up surrounded by the least among us who end up ruining the government instead of running it well.

We will not confine our circle to any one party, faction, profession, tribe or age group. Infact, I am inviting this early the “millennials” to join the government and make use of their talents to be of service to the nation.

In our administration, capabilities and not connections will be the basis of appointments. Those who are qualified need no recommendation while those without any capabilities need not apply. Those who fail will be axed at once.

I want to be a healing president which is why I will never be consumed with putting the blame on the past administration for any problems I may face in the future. Only by looking forward can any administration be able to move fast toward progress.

I know that I will be effective as a leader of the nation specially during this time of the pandemic which I believe will not go away in the near future. I have proven that having a doctor by my side is effective, as what happened with Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna working hand-in-hand with me.

This is why I have chosen for my running mate Dr. Willie Ong, a public health advocate who had chosen to impart free health advice instead of making profit out of it, along with his wife Dr. Liza.

He is a doctor with a big heart, intelligence and time for the masses. He has an untarnished record and had been continually helping those who are sick and who have health problems, free of charge. He will be with us during the expected continuing pandemic.

Thus, I humbly ask my dear fellow Filipinos: In May next year, please accept my humble application to lead this nation. And of course, grant me my running mate.

In responding to the pandemic, we need swift action. This can be done if my working partner is a health expert.

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Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!

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For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account –‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’