Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Wednesday vowed to prioritize infrastructure development in the Visayas and Mindanao to bring equitable economic growth if he wins in May 2022 polls.
In a statement, Moreno noted that many far-flung communities in the Visayas and Mindanao are left behind amid the country’s economic growth.
“I’ve been going around the country and I am happy for some provinces that there is enough infrastructure development. But more provinces need more development — whether it is irrigation, whether it is farming, agriculture, fisheries or any other industries that may benefit them,” Moreno said.
“A peso spent in Metro Manila will never give us much economic growth because of the principle of the Law of Diminishing Returns. But the same peso spent in the provinces will give us more upside in terms of return. So, you will see more developments in far-flung areas.”
The Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet’s commitment to strengthen the countryside development was further reinforced during his visit in his father’s birthplace in San Joaquin, Panay.
“Nakita ko talaga kung bakit nagpunta ang tatay ko sa Maynila. Talaga palang napakahirap ng buhay sa bundok [I now understand why my father went to Manila. Life in the province is really hard],” he said.
Moreno said his administration would allocate government resources to poor provinces where it is more needed, adding that “[this] will not only accelerate economic growth, but will also accelerate the reduction of inequality among Filipinos.”
Moreno earlier said he would continue the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration to create more jobs and put up more public housing, hospitals, and schools.
He also said he aims to build bridges across major islands that would not just facilitate the exchange of goods and services, but would also serve as tourism circuits and tourism highways.
Moreno, however, explained that all of his plans would be determined by a thorough consultation with the experts and residents, saying that “the welfare of the people will be the heart of his presidency.”
“It will be a people-oriented approach, ang pupuhunanan natin ang taongbayan, tao muna [we will invest in people and put people first],” he added. —Richa Noriega/KBK, GMA News