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FROM being a first-term Manila Councilor representing the impoverished district of Tondo, I witnessed how Mayor Isko Moreno matured both politically and as a private individual.

I also stood witness to how he struggled to make up for what he lacked in life in terms of education and how he transformed himself into a very responsible, efficient and dedicated public servant that he is today.

Mayor Isko took the hard road on the way to the top. From being a dirt-poor boy who relies on trash for his daily meals, he consistently won as Tondo councilor and was able to finish three consecutive terms or a period of nine straight years.

He made sure he did his assignment as a Councilor and did not hesitate to ask questions from the more seasoned politicians who were his batchmates in the Manila City Council.

As one of those whom he consulted on certain matters then, being among the elders of the council, I saw with my own two eyes how, sadly, some of our colleagues looked down on him and how he, for his part, persevered to become a better Councilor.

I and my best buddy, then Vice Mayor Danny Lacuna who was also our Presiding Officer at the Manila City Council, took then Councilor Isko into our fold and taught him everything he wanted to know.

He was very receptive for a relatively new councilor and really had the makings of a future mayor at that time.

When Danny and I saw his determination to excel, we helped him take up a course on local governance at UP and from then on, his hunger for education intensified even more, as he also took courses abroad in furtherance of the field of undertaking that he had set his heart and mind on.

Seeing his potential as a competent leader, our local party decided to field him as our vice mayoral candidate and he handily won. Mayor Isko then proved himself worthy of the position as he again won for three consecutive terms as vice mayor of Manila.

Following a three-year hiatus from local politics which he used to serve in the national government in various capacities, Mayor Isko then did what many thought was impossible.

He ran for mayor and again, won via a landslide victory and the rest is history.

Within a very short period of barely three years, he was able to fulfill all the campaign promises he made in 2019 and added a lot more.

This is what sets him apart from all his political rivals. What they are merely promising, Mayor Isko had already done in Manila. In terms of pandemic response, he was the only one who rose to the occasion.

All that needs to be done, once Mayor Isko becomes President, is to follow the template he had efficiently set in Manila to bring his projects to a nationwide scale.

One thing is for sure. When Mayor Isko promises, he delivers. And he delivers really fast.

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