Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s Disciplinary REVOLUTION

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It seems that newly installed Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has launched what could be a revolutionary era in the Philippines’ capital city. One of Moreno’s first acts was to clean up the popular shopping district of Divisoria of illegal street vendors. Initially dismissed as just another routine stunt any average newly-elected mayor would mount during their honeymoon period with their constituents, many have now expressed strong support for a renewed focus on consistent application of the law that does not discriminate on the basis of mere need.

As expected, the usual lot of left-leaning “thought leaders” are up in arms spewing “humanitarian” appeals meant to emotionally blackmail people who would otherwise invoke the law as a strong call to action. One such appeal is expressed in a tweet by Inquirer columnist Gideon Lasco who denounced this consistent application of the law as detrimental to people who “resort to informal jobs like street vending because they have little choice.”

Since that first impressive demonstration of a rare resolve to act on obvious problems that have plagued Manila for decades, there has been an outpouring of sentiment to the contrary. Over the last several days, Moreno has been inundated on Twitter by messages of support as well as suggestions and recommendations. Such is the outpouring of unprecedented civic engagement that a new complaints desk where people could formally lodge their requests for action was opened.

It is, of course, early days and Moreno still has lots to prove, specifically demonstrate that he is able to sustain this excellent focus over the long haul. More importantly, he needs to build the badly-needed administrative infrastructure to professionalise urban planning and government in the Philippines’ premier metropolis. This includes the tough task of rooting out corruption from the bureaucracy and implementing a fair and unpoliticised system for prioritising public works and development initiatives.

It can be done. World history is no slouch when it comes to providing examples of success stories along these lines. Manhattan’s Mulberry Street, for example, was once a similar teeming cesspool as recently as the 1900s.

Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s “Little Italy” on the lower East side at the turn of the 20th Century.

Today it has been long “cleaned up” and still retains its retail charm and bustle.

Mulberry Street today
(Photo source)

Indeed, what evokes such strong sentiment over Moreno’s clean up of Divisoria was the stark difference to — regarded by many as an improvement over — the way things were. To be fair, Divisoria’s street market has a charm and dynamism that somehow needs to be preserved even as much-needed order is established there.

Divisoria street market: Not half-bad so long as its impact to the broader community is properly managed.
(Photo source)

As always, balance is key to any successful undertaking and urban renewal and development is not exempt from that rule. Moreno and Manileños should take a balanced perspective in this promising revolution this new city government may have started. Keep what works and change what doesn’t.

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6 Comments on “Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s Disciplinary REVOLUTION”

  1. Indeed it is commendable what Mayor Isko Moreno is doing. Cleaning up Divisoria, Plaza Miranda, Lacson Underpass, Recto Ave., to mention a few, in so little time demonstrates a strong political will to change the sagging image of the City of Manila. Under the movie toughie Erap and police general Alfredo Lim, Manila could hardly qualify as the Philippine capital. It seems Manila voters did not err in choosing Isko Moreno for their mayor. It’s about time Manila reclaim its glory.

  2. Manila, “The Gate of Hell”, as the American author, Dan Brown, had written in a book; described the deteriorating city in our midst. The Squatters, called by self serving politicians as : “Informal settlers”, contributed to the deterioration of the city. Whoever approved the law that Squatting is legal, during the Aquino era, is really stupid. Those who voted for the approval of the law were pandering for votes of the Squatters.

    Manila yearly flood is always an yearly event, because the city is below sea level. Corruption in the Police is a problem. Police are sponsoring crime elements like : criminal pickpockets, snatchers, holduppers, thieves, scammers, and other criminals in the city. It is a lot of problem, for the new Mayor to tackle. The Manila citizens must support this new move to clean up and improve the city.

    Manila had no urban planning. It has few Parks and other recreational areas… Garbage is a problem; where people just throw their garbage anywhere and everywhere.

    Last of all, the law and the ordinances of the city must be enforced. This is a very hard job to do; because Filipinos are mostly hardheaded. Unless, we enforce the laws and ordinances with full force…nothing will be done. All will go back to the same old ways. Manila will continue to deteriorate and stink !

  3. This is the REAL reason why the Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is cleaning up his own city unlike his predecessors is because of Rodrigo Duterte who is our current president of the Philippines (aka Maharlika). Now imagine if either Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, Binay or even Leni “Boba” Robredo is our current president, then will Mr. Moreno gonna do his job as a Manila Mayor to clean his ow city & discipline his own people? I doubt he won’t do that for sure because those wannabies will gonna mess our country for sure due to their greed, pampa-“epal” & incompitence. While President Duterte is a disciplined, smart & no-nonsense politician who could fix this country for good. If you want your mayor & barangay captain in your city or town to have discipline, competent work & good governance, then you need a president who are also very well disciplined, competent & being transparent to his leadership in his country.

    And I hope that our next president of the Philippines (aka Maharlika) should be either Sara or Paolo Duterte after their father will end his term in 2022 in order to do this kind of job in the Philippine politics or else we’ll gonna be a laughing stock in Asia, again. Take that Yellowtards, UN & Amnesty International, who needs human rights investigation when our country REALLY needs HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY to run it!!!

  4. “parang walang pinag-aralan!” it’s sort of a quip, a quick response, without even a second thought that we say this to anyone who gets caught doing something irresponsible, and the most conclusion is as always, “Pilipino wala talagang disiplina”. But if we think of the quip and the conclusion, it’s not really that hard to relate that the two is connected to each other, that is, discipline and education, so my own conclusion is, we know the solution to the problem but it seems that there is an intent to avoid it and just look the other way.
    As a parents, we always think that what is more important is what our children needs and not what our children wants, that is, your child may not want to go to school but your child need education. So what will happen if we allow what Pilipino wants?

  5. Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

    This has been done to the City of Manila, since time immemorial, until Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso came along.

  6. yorme ISKO ipagpatuloy mo ginagawa mo I hope you will be the next president it will be toast between you and idol RAFFY TULFO TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES kayo lang ang tunay na makakapagbago sa pinas. I’m base here in Europe for the last 19 years im willing to ask the Filipinos here in Europe to have their signature to let you become the next president of the PHILIPPINES I’m doing this also to idol RAFFY TULFO and I will give it to you and to MR TULFO…..thanks and more POWER…

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