Isko Mayor Isko Moreno and Doc Willie Ong endorsed by Sen. Ralph Recto (center) as Moreno was also presented a plaque adopting him as a son of Lipa. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

Isko ‘adopted son’ of Lipa

October 15, 2021 Itchie G. Cabayan 639 views

MANILA Mayor and presidential aspirant Isko Moreno is now an “adopted son” of Lipa City, Batangas and Lipa is now a sister-city of Manila, even as political leaders from the province of Batangas expressed their support for Moreno, his running-mate Dr. Willie Ong and their senatorial slate.

These developments were contained in twin resolutions passed by the city legislative council of Lipa where Moreno was recognized for “his invaluable assistance to the people of Batangas, with the support of the people of Manila, through its local government and City Council, during the Taal Volcano eruption on January 12, 2020 and the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Moreno was described as “a public servant for almost three decades, who has been decisive and resilient in his governance to hurdle the challenges posed by (the) COVID-19 health crisis thereby saving many lives of our countrymen and encouraging other local leaders to follow his template.”

The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Lipa City cited Moreno’s donations to the province during the Taal Volcano eruption and the openness of Manila’s vaccination centers to residents of Batangas and other nearby provinces.

A separate resolution authorizing Lipa City Mayor Eric Africa to enter into a sister city relationship with Manila said: “The City of Lipa shall learn from the best practices of the City of Manila, which has been recognized for implementing innovative, proactive, and effective policies that greatly improved local governance and the delivery of services.”

Senator Ralph Recto, who declared his support for Moreno right after the mayor declared his bid for the Presidency in September, led district representatives, board members, mayors, vice mayors, councilors and barangay officials from the entire province who attended the convention at the Claro M. Recto Event Center on Friday.

Recto recognized Manila’s innovative COVID-19 response under Moreno’s leadership, adding that these practices should be replicated across the country, saying: “Kung kaya ng Maynila, ang sabi ko kay Mayor Isko, gawin natin sa buong Pilipinas.”

In urging Batangenos to support Moreno’s presidential bid, Recto also cited Moreno’s humble beginnings and overall track record in public service, as the senator praised Moreno for his “competence, courage, and empathy for ordinary people.”

“Napakaraming problema na haharapin ang ating Bayan, kaya’t napakahalaga na tama ang piliin natin na mamumuno sa ating bansa. Ang Batangas, kinikilalang matalinong botante. Walang nananalo Pangulo na hindi nananalo sa Batangas,” Recto said.

Meanwhile, Moreno vowed to protect local food producers, including local chicken and hog raisers, against the influx of imported pork and chicken courtesy of unscrupulous smugglers.

“Lahat ng smugglers, bilang na panahon niyo. Pag natyambahan ko maging presidente, papanatag ang mga nasa bukid. May kakampi na sila sa gobyerno,” said Moreno.

Recognizing the need for constant innovation, Moreno plans to address the food self-sufficiency issues plaguing the country by reviewing and strengthening the government’s subsidy programs that provide farmers with the necessary subsidies, and introduce more innovative technologies to boost production of rice and high-value crops and lessen their production costs.

“Hihigpitan po natin ang pagpasok ng baboy at manok sa Pilipinas. Producer naman tayo. The entire Luzon is producing meat. We should prioritize the food products of our own farmers and breeders of hog and chicken. If there is a need to augment our supply, then that’s the time we can import during the latter part of the year,” Moreno said.