My word is my bond

Published December 6, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno

BATANG MAYNILA

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno

When I ran for mayor in 2019, I made pledges to the people of Manila.

Modesty aside and with the invaluable help and support of my colleagues in the Manila city government, I was able to fulfill all my campaign promises with some bonuses on the side. This is not a claim as anyone can just Google it.

Now that I am running for President of the Philippines under the Aksyon Demokratiko Party, I am pledging anew.

This time around, I am planning to implement drastic tax cuts on fuel and electricity, by as much as 50 percent on the first year of my tenure, God willing.

One can simply examine his electric bill. There is a portion there that says ‘government taxes’ opposite a certain amount which the consumer is obliged to pay on a monthly basis.

Given the current economic situation of all Filipinos, any reduction to the electric bill is a big help and whatever savings they may derive from the tax cut may be considered as direct assistance from the national government.

Hopefully, by slashing taxes on electricity, companies and manufacturers will no longer be shutting down and employees will be able to keep their jobs. In the case of fuel and petroleum products on the other hand, I cannot promise to bring down its prices because it is beyond government power and doing so would be a farce. Since it is the tax that the government has control of, this is where we come in.

By lowering the tax on petroleum products, prices of other related basic necessities are expected to automatically follow. When petroleum prices are high, transport fares are high and so are food prices. Naturally, power rates are high too.

Inevitably, the non-stop increase in the prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene is the very reason why transport groups, drivers and operators of public utility vehicles keep demanding for fare hikes.

I am fully aware that this move would spell gargantuan losses in government income. In fact, certain authorities have even warned that national government would lose P131.4 billion if my plans push through. However, I believe that the national government can take a tiny step back or bend just a bit backward if it would redound to the benefit of the ordinary masses who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. If the said figures are correct, it would mean that P131.4 billion would go directly to the people in the form of savings. This would mean that the people will have more money to spend on their basic needs and that the economy would also recover by doubling down on tax cuts.

I see nothing wrong with this, specially if it’s the common tao who stand as beneficiaries. This, to me, is the most effective way to put the people’s interest first and it’s about time that government does this.

I am of the firm belief that it is not the government’s job to get rich but rather, to improve the lives of the people in every way possible, specially now that countless Filipinos have been economically displaced by the pandemic and are struggling to get back on their feet.

The pandemic is far from over and my simple main goal, should I become the leader of our beloved country, is, initially, to tide everyone over by creating as many job opportunities as possible.

I also intend to replicate on a national level, among many others, the successful projects on mass housing and education as well as the social amelioration program that are now being implemented in Manila. This includes the provision of monthly allowances for our senior citizens, solo parents, college students and persons with disabilities.

Running on prototypes, I abhor making any pledges that are nice to hear but I won’t be able to fulfill. This would be letting the people down and I would hate to lose their trust and my credibility.

I am very, very careful in making promises for the simple reason that in the slums where I was raised, every time we give our word, we put our honor on the line.

My word is my bond. You can take that to the bank.

***

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!

***

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

 
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