Recto: Isko’s efforts to fix Manila show charter change not sole solution

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Recto: Iskoâs efforts to fix Manila show charter change not sole solution
Photo shows new Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
Isko Moreno Domagoso Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno actions in his first days in office show that a change in vision and management style—not charter change—is needed to fix the country’s problems.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto stressed his point Wednesday as he praised the new Manila mayor for his attempt to address the woes of the country’s capital.

“Isko Moreno is the glowing ‘Exhibit A’ of the reality that many of the country’s problems can be solved without having to rewrite the constitution,” Recto said.

Among the steps that Moreno, who used to be the city’s vice mayor, took early in his administration are clearing the chaotic streets of Manila of vendors, signing an executive order promoting open governance, and vowing to stop bribery and corruption within the city.

“A change of plans, visions and management style will do wonders and spark change immediately, rather than the untested benefits that charter change promises to bring,” Recto said.

He added: “It seems that more progress can be wrought by seriously implementing whatever existing laws there are than rewriting the basic law of the land later.”

Recto is the latest public official to praise Moreno. Last Sunday, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said leaders like the new Manila mayor make him “look forward to retirement.”

While Moreno has drawn praise for his enthusiasm to give Manila a makeover, concerns have also been raised on his ability to sustain the gains and whether he can face a tough balancing act of decongesting the city without killing the livelihood of the poor.

RELATED: Duterte on charter change: Do it now

‘Cha-cha shouldn’t be railroaded’

The May midterm elections saw allies of President Rodrigo Duterte dominating the races for both houses of Congress, opening a path for the chief executive to push forward his plan to rewrite the constitution.

But Recto said that changing the constitution cannot fix crime, flooding, traffic and garbage problems. He added it cannot help create more jobs and strengthen industries.

“Having said that, I, however, recognize the right and welcome the move of proponents of constitutional amendments to bring their proposals for a debate in a manner that is exhaustive, not expedient; thorough, not truncated,” he said.

The senator added: “Any idea that is presented before Congress must win by the force of its arguments and not by the mere number of people supporting it. Charter change must not be part of the government’s railroad program.”

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Tuesday the 2022 presidential elections will affect how some of his colleagues will vote on the “divisive” charter change.

But he said the upper chamber will maintain its independence in handling the issue.

“The Senate always prides itself as independent of Malacañang. The people can always rely on that, so they can be assured that any attempt to revise or amend the Constitution to give way for federalism will undergo the regular process and will not be railroaded,” he said.




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