Good pol­i­tics

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

MANILA City Mayor Fran­cisco Moreno Do­magoso, aka Isko Moreno, is now 44 years old and is the youngest elected mayor of the city. He was 23 when he be­came the youngest coun­cilor. Do the math, and you’ll see that the slum­dog from Tondo waited for over two decades to be­come the busiest crusader among all the week-old lo­cal ex­ec­u­tives we’ve ever seen on this side of the planet.

The boy waited. He was city coun­cilor for nine years and had two con­sec­u­tive terms as vice mayor. He gave way for the ousted pres­i­dent Joseph Estrada (who moved to the cap­i­tal city from San Juan) with the deal that Moreno will have his chance in the next elec­tions. Three years later, Estrada held on to his seat, prompt­ing Moreno to break away and run for se­na­tor in­stead. He didn’t make the cut, land­ing only at 15th place. But the boy did wait, and even­tu­ally beat Estrada by a killing of al­most 150,000 votes in this year’s mid-term elec­tions.

But the boy did pre­pare as well. Get­ting scarce from the show­biz lime­light, he took cour­ses at the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines Na­tional Col­lege of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Gov­er­nance. He availed him­self of schol­ar­ships, com­pleted the US State Depart­mentspon­sored In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Lead­ers

Pro­gram and the ex­ec­u­tive pro­grams at Ox­ford Univer­sity and the JFK School of Gov­ern­ment in Har­vard Univer­sity. With ev­ery rare me­dia mileage he got through the years, he ap­peared with no­tice­able trans­for­ma­tion each time. He def­i­nitely knew what he was do­ing.

A good deal of the city that he now gov­erns runs in his blood, and with am­ple train­ing in pub­lic gov­er­nance, he now sits as mayor with both chi and chops.

A week in of­fice, Moreno sat­u­rates so­cial me­dia by merely do­ing what is ex­pected of lo­cal chief ex­ec­u­tives—talk squarely with stake­hold­ers, rid the city of garbage, push for ac­count­abil­ity, in­tro­duce in­no­va­tions, and be clear with the cit­i­zens about pol­icy di­rec­tions.

To rouse the peren­nial mess that is Manila from its stu­por means wak­ing an an­cient beast on all fours. In one of the in­ter­views, Moreno said that the pres­ence of side­walk ven­dors alone in­di­cates that some­one in po­si­tion of power is get­ting wind­fall. In the same breath, he calls for in­sti­tu­tions to ban­ish the names of “epals” in­scribed on any gov­ern­ment fa­cil­ity in acts of shame­less self­pro­mo­tion.

If any­thing, Moreno’s ac­tions in­spire optimism and re­minds the pub­lic on cer­tain ideals. Good gov­er­nance is also good pol­i­tics.-ss­cebu

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