Sotto, Zamora, Moreno topple giants; make history in PH politics

Marje Pelayo   •   May 14, 2019   •   11038

(L-R) Vico Sotto, Francis Zamora and Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso

MANILA, Philippines – The political arena had a complete turn-around in major cities in the country as the reign of political clans ended and new faces emerged victorious in Monday’s 2019 midterm polls.

Pasig City’s new, “millennial” mayor

A promise of a “new kind of politics” is about to start in Pasig City after 29-year-old Councilor Vico Sotto braved the pressure to break the almost three-decade unbroken line of Eusebios in the country’s eighth largest city.

On his official Facebook page, Sotto thanked his supporters for the trust while he promised to lead the city to its new beginning.

“Maraming salamat. Sa lahat ng nagbigay ng tiwala, sa mga bumoto, at sa mga nakiisa sa ating laban,” the incoming Mayor said.

“Sulit po ang pagod at effort natin. Narinig na ng bayan ang ating tinig. Handa na ang Pasig para sa tunay at pangmatagalang pagbabago!” he added.

Sotto, who topped the councilor race in 2016 in his first ever attempt in public office, is the son of veteran celebrities Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes.

Sotto did not field a vice mayor which left the incumbent Iyo Christian Caruncho Bernardo unopposed.

His party-mate former Rep. Roman Romulo also won the race against Mayor Bobby Eusebio’s brother incumbent Rep. Ricky Eusebio and is now a returning congressman for Pasig City’s lone district.

A game changer in San Juan City

Businessman Francis Zamora is the new mayor of San Juan City ending the reign of the Ejercito-Estrada clan in the smallest city in Metro Manila.

Zamora considered himself a game-changer after winning the election against Jannela Ejercito, the daughter of former senator Jinggoy Estrada and granddaughter of Manila’s incumbent mayor Joseph Estrada.

The new mayor promised to turn the old city of San Juan into a highly developed “Smart City” with improved services and state-of-the-art facilities.

Francis’ father, Ronaldo Zamora, remains in office after defeating challenger Edu Manzano for the lone district of San Juan.

The Estrada clan took hold of San Juan City since 1969 when then popular actor Joseph Estrada won as mayor. He was succeeded by his sons Jinggoy and JV Ejercito then JV’s mother Guia Gomez to whom Zamora narrowly lost his bid for mayor in 2016.

The Zamoras and Estradas were family friends for 30 years until Francis and Guia both ran in the mayoralty race in 2016. Francis claimed he was cheated in the election.

Dethroning a giant

Former Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso defeated the “giant” in the country’s capital, Manila.

The new mayor described his win as a “humbling experience” while he could only wish the best for his opponent, former president and mayor Joseph Estrada.

“Maging masaya ang kaniyang mga araw sa buhay. Maging maligaya din siya na kapiling ang kaniyang pamilya…Nakapaglingkod na naman siya sa taumbayan. Napagbigyan na rin naman siya. And I think he did enough already for the country and for the city,” Domagoso said of Estrada.

A Tondo boy who used to scavenge for food, Domagoso established his political career from serving three terms as a city councilor, another three terms as vice mayor and the most recent as an undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

As now the new mayor of Manila, he promised “more programs of governance” for the city.

“Today is just the beginning. It’s going to be challenging years for us. People are expecting pero may awa ang Dios. We always wanted to be guided by law and order and by God,” he said after securing his win.

His running mate, incumbent Vice Mayor Maria Sheilah Lacuna-Pangan, also won for a second term in office. — Marje Pelayo

Ilang bahagi ng Intramuros sa Maynila, binuksan na sa publiko

Robie de Guzman   •   February 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Bukas na sa publiko simula ngayong araw ang ilang bahagi ng Intramuros sa Maynila, ayon sa Department of Tourism (DOT).

Sinabi ni Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, handa na ang makasaysayang walled city sa pagtanggap ng mga turista lalo’t marami itong malalawak na lugar na ligtas puntahan ng mga tao sa gitna ng pandemya.

Ang pagbubukas ng Intramuros ay kasunod na rin ng panawagan para sa mas marami pang tourism activities at destinations upang makatulong sa pagbangon ng ekonomiya ng bansa.

“Now, with the easing of quarantine restrictions while the recommended health and safety protocols remain in place, Intramuros is ready and prepared to welcome back the public to the city’s many plazas, open spaces, heritage sites and museums,” ang wika ni Puyat.

Ang mga sumusunod na tourist sites sa Intramuros ang maaaring pasyalan ng publiko:

Ang Fort Santiago na bukas mula Lunes hanggang Linggo, ang Casa de Manila mula Martes hanggang Linggo, at ang Baluarte de San Diego na maaari namang bisitahin mula Sabado hanggang Linggo.

Sarado pa sa ngayon ang iba pang tourist sites sa Intramuros.

Paalala ng DOT na ang mga bisitang may edad 15 hanggang 65 lamang ang papayagang pumasok sa mga nabanggit na lugar.

May entrance fee na P75 para sa mga adult habang P50 naman sa mga estudyante at persons with disabilities. Maaari itong bayaran ng cash o kaya ay sa pamamagitan ng online platform.

Limitado lamang ang maaaring pumasok sa loob ng mga gusali alinsunod sa health and safety protocols kontra COVID-19.

Kukunin rin ang body temperature at sasailalim sa symptoms screening ang mga turista. Hindi maairing pumasok ang mga walang suot na face mask.

Kailangan ring i-download ng mga bisita ang staysafe.ph app at sagutan ang health declaration form rito para sa contact tracing. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Manila unveils green space ‘hidden garden’ at Liwasang Bonifacio

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila City government on Tuesday (February 16) unveiled a green space in Lawton dubbed as the city’s “hidden garden.”

Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said the one-hectare garden is in line with the local government’s policy to open more green spaces in the city and will serve as a ‘gift’ to the future generation of Manileños.

“Ang inyong pamahalaang lungsod ay hindi po tumitigil sa kanyang layunin na mapanatiling maaliwalas o maging maaliwalas ang Lungsod ng Maynila, he said.

The Mayor added that he opened the garden to the public to prove that cleaner and breathable air is achievable in an urbanized city like Manila.

The garden also has its own coffee shop, which will help in generating new jobs and opportunities amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Domagoso also asked for the public’s cooperation in maintaining the cleanliness of the garden.

“We should continue to act in unison as if it is an orchestra with different musical instruments playing one music in synchrony. We must and we should deliver better services to our fellow Manileños,” he said. AAC

Manila unveils COVID-19 vaccine storage facility

Robie de Guzman   •   February 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Manila formally inaugurated on Thursday its storage facility for COVID-19 vaccines at the Sta. Ana Hospital in preparation for the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines.

Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the city’s vaccine storage facility is comprised of 12 refrigeration units that are capable of storing various brands of vaccines with different temperature requirements.

These include five HYC-390 refrigerators for AstraZeneca and Sinovac vials, two -25°C biomedical freezers, two -30°C biomedical freezers for Johnson&Johnson and Moderna vials, and three -86°C ULT freezers for Pfizer vials.

The storage facility will also be equipped with 11 CCTV cameras working 24/7 and six data loggers to ensure the security of the vaccines, Domagoso added.

According to Sta. Ana Hospital Biomedical Specialist Walter Rigonan, the city government’s 12 COVID-19 vaccine freezers can accommodate the following:

  • 2 units of -10 to -25 freezer: 5,200 vials each
  • 2 units of -10 to -30 freezer: 17,200 vials each
  • 3 units of -86 freezer: 20,000 vials each
  • 5 units of 2-8 degrees freezer: 8,200 vials each

Mayor Isko said COVID-19 vaccines procured by the city will be stored here but neighboring cities and other government agencies may also use this facility should they need it.

“We will welcome anybody, any agency, including our fellow local government units, ibig sabihin kahit saan sa Metro Manila pwede ito,” Domagoso said.

“This is a pandemic, we wanted to approach this inclusively,” he added.

The city government also unveiled on Thursday its COVID-19 vaccination area at the Sta. Ana Hospital for medical workers and other frontline workers.

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