AMONG the so many positive developments happening in Manila at present, another first of its kind took place recently. This is when Mayor Isko Moreno inaugurated the newest medical facility located at the annex of the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center which is currently headed by Dr. Ted Martin.
The said facility is a dialysis center, meant to serve the poor residents of Manila who are suffering from kidney ailments and cannot afford the high costs of treatment, specially dialysis.
It is a first in many ways. Number one, it is reputed to be the biggest dialysis center not only in the entire country but actually, according to Dr. Martin, in the entire Asia-Pacific region, putting the National Kidney Institute, a national institution, only in second place.
Secondly, it was inaugurated on the very birthday of Mayor Isko and it was his first activity that day. Thirdly, and most importantly, the said center was named after the beloved, departed grandmother (mother’s side) of former Mayor Fred Lim, thus, the ‘Flora V. Valisno de Siojo Dialysis Center.’
Of course, Mayor Lim was invited by Mayor Isko to be present at the blessing and inauguration and Lim was gracious enough to oblige and in fact, expressed his gratefulness to Mayor Isko for the wonderful gesture. It’s just disgusting how, instead of being happy at seeing a reconciliation, some people can be so negative as to criticize the relationship of the two gentlemen, making it obvious from whose political camp they belong.
Anyway, before that, Mayor Isko intimated that he plans to surprise Lim by naming the said center after Lim’s mother. I explained to the good mayor that Lim had more connection to his ‘lola’ who virtually raised him and urged him to finish his studies whatever happens, up to her last breath.
Lim was left to an orphanage by his mother who remarried and settled outside of the metro with her new family. It was Lim’s Lola Flora who traced his whereabouts and took him in.
Mayor Isko saw it fit to name the hospital after the person closest to the heart of Mayor Lim, as a tribute for his 12 years of service to Manila and its residents, even noting that it was Lim who built the said hospital where the biggest dialysis center in the Asia-Pacific can now be found. With the help of his equally tireless vice mayor and council presiding officer Honey Lacuna, an ordinance was passed to make possible the naming of the said facility, which will now be called the ‘Siojo Dialysis Center’ for brevity. Siojo is Lim’s middle name.
There is a funny story though. I learned that someone close to ex-President Joseph Estrada was telling then vice mayor Isko to come up with an ordinance for naming the said dialysis center –which was then yet to be renovated- after Dona Mary Ejercito, the mother of Estrada. The source told me that Moreno sat on it, along with his ally councilors, seeing no reason why it should be done.
Mayor Isko told Mayor Lim that the name of the said facility will be there forever. Why? Mayor Isko explained that to change it, the city council has got to muster two-thirds vote from its entire membership and even with just one oppositor, any such ordinance will not be able to see passage.
In fairness to Mayor Isko, he is so unlike other mayors who either resort to renaming institutions no matter how stupid it may seem just to mislead the public into thinking that the said institution was built by them, or paralyzing the operations of such institutions so that there will be reason to discontinue them and then create a new one which is basically the same but already to their credit.
Mayor Isko knows his place in the history of Manila and is secure about himself and his countless accomplishments, so early on in his first term as city executive. He is never into credit-grabbing and has shown true magnanimity in victory, which makes him all the more loved by people from all walks of life, both here and abroad.
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