By NEIL RAMOS
Much has been said about former actor-turned-Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and his rags to riches story.
Then again, it isn’t as if that is all there is to him.
Indeed, much as it makes good copy, it should be noted that Mayor Isko has gone far beyond that.
He has been reaping accolades for the positive changes he has implemented in Manila.
Just recently, the city of Manila has been named among the top 50 cities to compete in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ program for innovative urban solutions in response to issues amid the pandemic.
Ever humble, Mayor Isko shared the accolade with every Manileño.
“We are hugely honored that Manila has been named as one of 50 select Champion Cities for the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayor’s challenge,” he said. “On behalf of the more than two million residents of the city of Manila and indeed on behalf of every Filipino, wherever they are in the Philippines or around the world for whom their national capital occupies an outsized role in their hearts and minds, the city government is very much honored for the prestigious award.”
Other cities in the Asia-Pacific that made it to the top 50 include Auckland (New Zealand), Daegu (South Korea), Pune (India), Rourkela (India), Taipei (Taiwan) and Wellington (New Zealand).
For the competition, city leaders from all over the world were invited to pitch ideas to address challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They were encouraged to submit proposals based on four challenge themes: health and wellbeing, climate and environment, economic recovery and inclusive growth, and good governance and equality.
As part of the top 50, Manila will have the opportunity to enhance and test their proposals from this month until October to compete for the final round, where only 15 winners would be chosen. The top 15 cities will win $1 million each and receive free consultancy services to implement their projects.