As a boy, he grew up homeless and dreamt of one day providing homes for his neighbors in Tondo; as Manila Mayor he delivered on one of the key promises of his 2019 mayoralty campaign: decent mass housing for the city’s informal settlers.
Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Monday led the inauguration of Tondominium 1, a 15-storey vertical mass housing project in the country’s capital intended for the slum dwellers of Tondo, delivering on his commitment to provide decent housing to residents of the city––a promise he made when he won as mayor in 2019.
Located in the Manila district where Moreno grew up as a scavenger, the project is expected to benefit some 160 families, and is part of the mass housing plans he rolled out close to three years ago.
In his remarks, the 47-year-old mayor became emotional and teary–eyed as he recounted his childhood in the slums of Tondo prior to becoming a matinee idol and, later, an elected official of his city.
“Noon pong ako ay pumasok sa pulitika noong 1998, ang tangi kong pangarap ay makapagpabago ng buhay ng isang bata. Opo, literal iyun. Sabi ko kahit isang bata na katulad ko na pwedeng makaahon sa kanyang kinalalagyan,” said Moreno.
“Iskwater kami, walang sariling bahay. Kaya sa murang edad, nangarap ako na sana lahat may masisilungan. This was my childhood dream: to build a city-owned housing project that will provide homes to the poor. I was raised in Tondo so I know how hard it is to be homeless.”
“This was my childhood dream: to build a city-owned housing project that will provide homes to the poor. I was raised in Tondo so I know how hard it is to be homeless.”
Since being elected mayor in 2019, Moreno has embarked on massive housing projects under the city’s accelerated “Build, Build, Build” program. In two years as Manila’s chief executive, Moreno has broken ground on six major housing projects. These include (1) Basecommunity, (2) Tondominium 1 and 2, (3) Binondominium, (4) San Lazaro Residences, (5) Pedro Gil Residences, and (6) San Sebastian Residences.
Moreno has broken ground on six major housing projects. These include (1) Basecommunity, (2) Tondominium 1 and 2, (3) Binondominium, (4) San Lazaro Residences, (5) Pedro Gil Residences, and (6) San Sebastian Residences.
The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer lamented that as a youngster in Tondo, he was often disappointed with political families that failed to deliver on their campaign promises after winning elective office.
According to Moreno, “noong ako ay bata, maraming mga kilalang mga pamilyang politiko ang nagsasalita sa entablado sa tuwing halalan na ‘babaguhin ko ang buhay ninyo.’ I think narinig n’yo rin ‘yun. Bakit parang sa tuwing halalan, ang mga mahihirap laging bida sa kwentuhan? Pero kapag panahon na ng oras ng paglilingkod, hindi naman natin matagpuan ang katotohanan sa likod ng mga salita ng mga kilalang pamilya na ito.”
Instead of taking care of the people of Tondo, informal settlers were even asked to leave their shanties to give way to development and road widening projects of past governments, and later relocated and resettled in areas where livelihood and job opportunities were unavailable.
“Hindi ito ang kailangan ng tao. Nawalan sila ng dignidad kaya unti-unti nating binabalik ang dignidad ng tao, ibalik ang pamumuhay, ibalik ang kinabukasan.”