Isko Moreno: Debt-ridden Manila open for donations
MANILA, Philippines – With his city neck-deep in debt, Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno said on Wednesday, October 2, that the capital is open for donations from ordinary citizens.
“Ordinaryong tao, nagbibigay ng pera (Even ordinary people donate money). A hundred dollars, ten thousand dollars, 8 thousand pesos, 10 thousand pesos, 5 million, 20 million,” Moreno said in a Rappler Talk interview evaluating his first 100 days in office.
Why does this matter? The city of Manila is mired in debt. According to the Commission on Audit, the city government inherited at least P4.4 billion in debts from the previous administration.
Moreno said they expect the number to rise when they receive the updated numbers from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Because of this, one of the main concerns for Moreno is plotting how to pay off these arrears.
Ordinary people have donated already: While he declined naming the big donors, on September 24, Moreno received two people who were not even citizens of city. The pair donated money to the Manila City government.
Where will the donations go? Moreno said the financial help would be spent by the government on his plan to build an in-city vertical housing complex. This is part of his goal to relocate informal settlers to a better area in Manila.
“I really want to give security to ISFs (informal settler families). If we really want to help the poor, let us give them lifetime security,” Moreno said in a mix of English and Filipino.
How Isko Moreno plans to pay off the debt: Moreno plans to pay off these obligations by encouraging businesses to transfer to Manila. More businesses, means more taxes collected.
He has signed ordinances that lower taxes to entice them, and has ordered the city government to process permits faster. He has also dined with the country's tycoons, encouraging them to set up their headquarters in the capital. – Rappler.com