Isko: Araw ng Maynila to be dedicated to frontliners

Isko Moreno
Mayor Isko Moreno showing the ceremonial check. Photo by (JERRY S. TAN)

THE Manila city government will forego any pompous activities in the celebration of the yearly ‘Araw ng Maynila’ supposedly marking the city’s 449th founding anniversary on June 24 and instead use the occasion to honor the frontliners who have been leading the fight against COVID-19.

In his directive to Charlie Dungo, head of the department of tourism culture and the arts Manila (DTCAM), Moreno said he and vice mayor Honey Lacuna are in fact drawing out plans to give the frontliners a fitting recognition, along with the donors who have been helping the city since the public health crisis began.

“I told Charlie na ‘wag na mag-celebrate ng Araw ng Maynila in a regular way and instead, we can commemorate the occasion by dedicating it to our frontliners. Hopefully, in the coming days, matatapos na ang plano to recognize all frontliners,” Moreno said.

The mayor also particularly lauded the doctors, nurses, health personnel, barangay authorities, police authorities and personnel from city departments and agencies involved in the fight against the pandemic.

“We are also very grateful to all our donors. Vice Mayor Honey and I are toying the idea of how to thank our donors.  To them and our frontliners,  we cannot thank them enough,” Moreno said after the flag-raising ceremony in City Hall.

On the same occasion, Moreno also presented to Manila Police District (MPD) Director Gen. Rolly Miranda a ceremonial check amounting to over P35 million, representing the city’s financial aid to the some 4,000 members of the MPD.

City treasurer Jasmin Talegon said the amount represented each policeman’s P2,500 monthly allowance for January to March, or a total of P7,500 each, even as he assured Moreno that the amount for April and May are now being worked on.

Moreno said he is happy to implement what they worked hard to pass in the council, when he was vice mayor and the presiding officer, even citing the help of his colleagues at that time led by then councilors Lacuna, Marlon Lacson and former majority floorleader now secretary to the mayor Bernie Ang, at the same time assuring the policemen that each of them will be receiving the full amount due them.

“The checks will be in your name and you will be protected with a new system which ensures that you will get the entire allowance due you. Tapos na ýung mga araw na alam ko, nababalitaan naman ninyo. Pulis kapwa pulis, tinotolongges,” said Moreno.

He added: “”Yang pera na ‘yan, balewala. It is just our way of showing appreciation dahil hindi namin kayang suklian ang hirap at dedikasyon ninyo na mapanatag ang kalooban ng mga taga-Maynila habang sila ay natutulog o nasa labas ng bahay. I hope you continue performing your sworn duty.”

Moreno said that while he sits as city mayor, the policemen will receive what is due them.

“Ang gusto ko, ‘yung ibinibigay ‘yung para sa inyo at hindi ‘yung hinihingi pa ninyo. ‘Yung kusang nakukuha ng pulis ang para sa kanya,” he said.