Isko Moreno
Official portrait, 2019
27th Mayor of Manila
In office
June 30, 2019 – June 30, 2022
Vice MayorHoney Lacuna
Preceded byJoseph Estrada
Succeeded byHoney Lacuna
Undersecretary of Social Welfare and Development for Luzon Affairs and Special Concerns
In office
May 11, 2018 – October 11, 2018
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the North Luzon Railways Corporation
In office
July 1, 2017 – October 27, 2017
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
18th Vice Mayor of Manila
In office
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2016
MayorAlfredo Lim (2007–2013)
Joseph Estrada (2013–2016)
Preceded byDanny Lacuna
Succeeded byHoney Lacuna
Member of the Manila City Council from the 1st district
In office
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2007
President of Aksyon Demokratiko
Assumed office
August 12, 2021
Leader of Asenso Manileño
Assumed office
Personal details
Francisco Moreno Domagoso[1]

(1974-10-24) October 24, 1974 (age 49)
Tondo, Manila, Philippines
Political partyAksyon Demokratiko (2021–present)[2]
Asenso Manileño (local party; 2005–present)[3][4]
Other political
Independent (1998–2007)[5][4][6]
Nacionalista (2007–2012)[7]
PMP (2012–2016)[8]
UNA (2012–2014)[9]
NUP (2016–2021)[10]
Diana Lynn Ditan
(m. 2000)
Children5, including Joaquin
  • Actor (1993–1998, part-time 2000–present)
  • Television personality (1993–1998, 2023–present)
  • Politician (1998–2022)
  • Producer (2023–present)
  • Entrepreneur
WebsiteOfficial campaign website
YouTube information
Years active2020–present
Total views85.7 million[11]
100,000 subscribers2022

Last updated: December 31, 2023

Francisco Moreno Domagoso (born October 24, 1974), also known as Isko Moreno Domagoso (Tagalog pronunciation: [isˈkɔʔ mɔˈɾɛ.nɔ dɔ.maˈɡɔ.sɔ]) or simply Isko Moreno, is a Filipino politician, actor, host and entrepreneur who served as the 27th mayor of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, from 2019 to 2022. Before entering politics, Moreno first gained notability as an actor and television personality.

Moreno was born and raised in the slums of Tondo, Manila, and spent his childhood in poverty. After a modest career in show business, he entered politics in 1998, standing for election as a city councilor of Manila; he was elected for three consecutive terms. He then pursued higher education, including some non-degree postgraduate education at Harvard Kennedy School and Oxford Saïd Business School. In 2007, he was elected as vice mayor of Manila for the first of three consecutive terms. In 2016, he was term-limited as vice mayor and unsuccessfully ran for senator in the 2016 senatorial elections, being placed 16th out of 50 candidates. He then served in the cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte as social welfare undersecretary for a few months in 2018, before successfully standing as mayor of Manila, winning in a landslide victory against his former allies Joseph Estrada and Alfredo Lim in the 2019 local elections becoming the youngest elected mayor of Manila since the People Power Revolution.

Moreno is widely regarded as one of the top-performing local chief executives in the Philippines; he has described his leadership style as akin to that of his predecessor Alfredo Lim, citing their shared commitment to reducing crime and maintaining cleanliness of the capital. Moreno is also noted for his streetwise public image due to his use of colorful language coupled with Manila street slang.[12][13] As a result, he is colloquially referred to as Yorme.[a][12] His political career has been met with positive-to-mixed critical reception, gaining praise for his political will, efficiency, hands-on leadership, people skills, non-partisanism on designations, and results-oriented performance, but criticism for his sporadic outspoken remarks, over-the-top populist tendencies, and lack of permanence to a national political party, although he remained a constant member since the inception of Asenso Manileño, a local party he co-founded.

In September 2021, Moreno announced his bid for the Philippine presidency in the 2022 presidential election, in which he finished fourth out of 10 candidates.[14]

Having served in the government for 24 years, Moreno has received numerous recognition for his public service. He is widely credited for "restoring Manila to its former glory within a short period of time", despite disinformation against him by political rivals. He is generally known for his firm implementation of city services, beautification of derelict historical sites, and leading the establishment of city infrastructure. He announced retirement from politics after his mayoral term ended on June 30, 2022.[15][16][17][18][19][20]

Early life

Born Francisco Moreno Domagoso,[1] he is the only child of Visayan parents Joaquin Copias Domagoso (1930–1995), a stevedore at Manila's North Harbor, from San Jose, Antique, and Rosario Moreno (1946–2020) from Allen, Northern Samar, a housewife-cum-laundrywoman and garlic peeler.[21][22][23] Isko's parents were not married when he was born[24] and he has older half-siblings from his father's first family.[22] Born and raised in the slums of Tondo, Manila where he was once nicknamed as "Scott",[25] Moreno spent his childhood in poverty. At age 10, he earned income from pushing a cart, collecting garbage, and gathering old newspapers and used bottles to resell to a local junk dealer.[25] He also drove a passenger pedicab and rummaged through restaurant garbage bins for leftover food, which his mother would recook for dinner.[26] Moreno attended Rosauro Almario Elementary School[27] and Tondo High School, both public schools in Tondo, Manila.[28] From his savings, Moreno briefly enrolled in maritime engineering at the Philippine Maritime Institute in 1992, for one semester every year, but dropped out[29][3] when he entered the entertainment business after he was discovered in 1993 by a talent scout who encouraged him to audition for That's Entertainment, a popular teen-variety show, as a way for him to relieve his family's poverty. Moreno subsequently got the part and adopted the screen name "Isko Moreno" using his mother's surname.[30]

Acting career

In 1993, the 18-year-old Isko Moreno caught the attention of talent scout Wowie Roxas while attending a funeral and was persuaded to join show business due to his matinee idol image and boyish features.[24][22][31] His first acting job was an extra in an episode for the RPN 9 teen drama show Young Love, Sweet Love, which was previously hosted by German Moreno. Isko auditioned for the seventh batch and became a part of the Monday group of German Moreno's daily variety show That's Entertainment, under the screen name Isko Moreno. He was once paired up with former child star Bamba during his early days in That's Entertainment.[24][32] Moreno's big break came in when he was cast in a minor role in the 1993 romantic movie May Minamahal and became a leading man to Claudine Barretto in Muntik na Kitang Minahal a year later. He then starred in a variety of films and television shows in genres including drama, romance, action, and comedy.[31]

Moreno later became known for his mature roles and modeling during his short career in the "ST/titillating films" (erotic films) genre that was popular in the country during the 1990s[24] and appeared in movies Siya'y Nagdadalaga, Exploitation, Mga Babae sa Isla Azul and Misteryosa.[33]

In 2004, Moreno made a cameo appearance on his life story featured on Maalaala Mo Kaya, the episode was called "Aklat", where he was portrayed by Danilo Barrios.[34] In 2005, during his third term as a councilor of Manila, he returned to acting, portraying a kind-hearted priest in the television drama series Mga Anghel na Walang Langit, in a supporting role.[31] He also had a brief appearance in 2007 in the television drama series Bakekang.[33] The following year, during his first term as vice mayor, Moreno had a supporting role in the afternoon soap opera Ligaw na Bulaklak.[35]

In 2014, he appeared in the Japanese lifestyle variety show Homecoming, where it was revealed that he is a godfather of then-AKB48 member, Sayaka Akimoto, according to photo documentations by Akimoto's Filipina mother, as the episode showed Akimoto traveling to the Philippines to explore her Filipino roots. He was visited and interviewed on the show by Akimoto, her mother, Akimoto's fellow AKB48 co-member Mariko Shinoda, and comedian Hiroshi.[36]

In 2019, Moreno appeared in the film 3pol Trobol: Huli Ka Balbon! as Yorme, a former mayor of Balete, Batangas, and leader of a horse ranch as well as an old friend of the Philippine president. He also made a cameo appearance in the 24th anniversary special of Bubble Gang.[37]

A musical biographical film based on Moreno's life, Yorme: The Isko Domagoso Story, was released on January 21, 2022, and was distributed by Viva Films. Raikko Mateo, McCoy de Leon, and Xian Lim portrayed Moreno in different times of his life, with Moreno also appearing as himself.[38]

In November 2022, it was announced that Moreno would play the role of former Senator Ninoy Aquino in the Darryl Yap film Martyr or Murderer, which was released on theaters on March 1, 2023.[39][40]

Political career

Councilor of Manila

Moreno started his political career in 1998 when he was elected and sworn in as councilor under then-Mayor Lito Atienza for Manila's first legislative district at age 23, the youngest-elected councilor in Manila's history at that time.[5][41][42] Initially a decision made on a whim, he was re-elected in 2001 and 2004 in topnotch victories. His programs include the "ISKOlar ng Bayan" college scholarship program, the Isko Moreno Computer Learning Center (ISCOM), the "Botika ni Isko" which was the only pharmacy in the country installed within a public office, and the establishment of daycare centers in the first district.[43] After receiving criticism from other members of the city council especially for being a high school graduate, his mentor, then-Vice Mayor Danilo "Danny" Lacuna, encouraged him to study while fulfilling his duties. In 2003, Moreno obtained a business administration degree from the International Academy of Management and Economics in Makati.[3] He also took a crash course in local legislation and local finance at the National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines Diliman.[22] He then completed bachelor in public administration at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila).[24] He also attended non-degree programs, fellowships, and short courses in leadership and governance at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (Executive Education Program), and at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford (Strategic Leadership Programme).[25] It was also Lacuna who financed Moreno's studies.[44]

Vice mayor of Manila

Vice Mayor Moreno in 2012

After his third and final term as city councilor, Moreno ran for vice mayor in 2007 under Asenso Manileño, a local party he co-founded with Danilo Lacuna in 2005,[44][4] as the running mate of then outgoing vice mayor Lacuna.[45] During his election campaign, he criticized what he called "black propaganda" by opponents who used photographs from his past "sexy" acting career but did not pursue any charges.[46] Moreno eventually won the elections, beating his closest rival by about 80,000 votes; however, Lacuna lost to Senator and former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim of the Liberal Party.[22] At 32, Moreno became one of the youngest-elected vice mayors in Manila's history.[42] Moreno studied law at Arellano University School of Law but dropped in his second year when he was elected as vice mayor of Manila for the first time.[22] He was re-elected in 2010,[47] this time under Nacionalista Party and as the running mate of then-incumbent Mayor Lim.[48] Both Lim and Moreno took part in the negotiation of the Manila hostage crisis until it was taken over by the police. Moreno had criticized the national government's urgency on the matter, saying the national government should have intervened early because foreign nationals were involved.[49]

Moreno also served as vice chairman of the Manila Historical and Heritage Commission.[50] In 2011, Moreno was chosen to visit Washington, D.C., under the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) sponsored by the US State Department, the only Filipino participant of their group.[51][52]

Between 2012 and 2013, the Commission on Audit (COA) found Moreno's office had 623 ghost employees. Cases were filed against him but were dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman. Moreno said he believed the allegations were politically motivated and headed by Mayor Lim, which resulted in them falling out.[53] Moreno said he was only the signatory of the disbursement of the city council's employees and that the Office of the City Treasurer disburses employee salaries.[54] The Manila Regional Trial Court ordered the reinstatement of Moreno's employees, whom the court declared as unlawfully terminated by Lim. Judge Daniel Villanueva dismissed Lim's allegations that some of the terminated workers could be ghost employees.[55]

In May 2012, Joseph Estrada, the 13th president of the Philippines, announced his intention to run for mayor of Manila in the 2013 local election against the incumbent mayor Lim, but only for one term to make way for Moreno afterwards. Moreno, who was running for re-election as vice mayor in his third-and-last consecutive term, was chosen as Estrada's running mate.[56] Estrada drove his "Jeep ni Erap" from San Juan to his new house at Altura Street, Sampaloc, Manila (near Santa Mesa), to ceremonially launch his candidacy. He was joined by his wife, former senator Loi Ejercito, and Moreno.[56] Moreno then joined Estrada's party Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which was then in coalition with PDP-Laban.[8][9]

On February 16, 2013, months before the election, police arrested and detained Moreno and five other councilors due to alleged bingo operations held in a public place and a lack of permit. Moreno denied the bingo game was in a public place in Santa Cruz, Manila, because they were in a private property and did not cause obstruction.[57] Moreno said he believed Mayor Lim was involved in his arrest but Lim refuted this. Moreno said the bingo game was not illegal because there was no wager involved and the cards were given for free. Moreno also said the bingo session was initiated for entertainment purposes to attract people to attend their consultation program. In his defense, Moreno said there is no law that requires anyone to obtain a permit from the local government unit if the bingo games were intended purely for entertainment purposes, especially when being done in a private, gated compound.[58] The day before, Lim and Estrada signed a "peace covenant" to prevent election-related violence in Manila.[59] Moreno and the other councilors were released a day later, and the gambling charges were eventually dismissed by the Department of Justice due to lack of evidence and vague allegations. The police complainants also failed to cite a particular provision of the law that was violated.[60] Moreno was re-elected in May 2013, and Estrada defeated Lim to become the new mayor of Manila.[61]

The Campaign Finance Office of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) filed a complaint against Moreno in May 2017 for overspending in the 2013 elections, saying Moreno exceeded expenditure limits by over 100,000 in his final vice-mayoral bid. In his counter-affidavit that was received by COMELEC in October 2020, Moreno said his declared spending was a "simple and honest oversight" due to variances and un-reconciled accounts, and the mistake was in good faith. He later adjusted his expense report where the amended sum fell within campaign spending limits. Under Republic Act No. 7166, a candidate with political-party support who is standing for neither the positions of president or vice president may spend only up to ₱3.00 per registered voter in his or her constituency. Several poll watchdogs have echoed support for Moreno and have campaigned for the revision of an outdated spending cap because they said such law, which was enacted in 1991, no longer reflected actual spending, and that such action would make the disclosure of candidates and political parties more truthful. Under the poll body's Rules of Procedure, preliminary investigations on election offenses must be terminated within 20 days after the receipt of counter-affidavits, after which a resolution should be made within five days. However, there has been no resolution on the case since then and it is unlikely to bring the case to court because COMELEC may be found guilty of "inordinate and oppressive delay". In its defense, COMELEC said the slow pace of the procedures is "usual" due to unclear delegation and delineation of functions.[62]

In September 2014, five barangay chairpersons from Tondo filed a plunder complaint against Moreno and several other city officials in Manila with the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly diverting real property tax shares amounting to ₱77 million to a "dummy" barangay in late 2013. Moreno said the accusations were politically motivated. According to him, the dummy barangay the complainants were referring to was Barangay 128 in Smokey Mountain. Moreno also said the funds they gave to Smokey Mountain, as well as the poor barangays in Parola and Baseco, were "floating funds" from uninhabited barangays in the city's piers, and that such action was a "normal proceeding" since the time of former mayors Lito Atienza and Alfredo Lim. Moreno alleged the complainants wanted to take a share of the funds but failed to properly request them. Moreno said he and his co-defendants were willing to face the allegations but there had been no official report or publicly available update from the Office of the Ombudsman regarding the complaint.[63][64]

Also during his tenure as vice mayor, Moreno was elected the National President of the Vice Mayors' League of the Philippines (VMLP) from 2008 to 2016,[65] and the first Vice President of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) from 2014 to 2016.[66] He was also the Chairman Emeritus of the Kaagapay ng Manileño Foundation from 2007 to 2010.[67]

2016 Senate bid

Joseph Estrada's (second from right) election campaign rally in Tondo, Manila in 2016 along with Isko Moreno (left), Grace Poe (second from left), and Honey Lacuna (right)

In 2015, Moreno announced he would run for senator of the Philippines in 2016 after incumbent Mayor Joseph Estrada decided to run for another term. He was named as part of the senatorial slate of presidential candidate and Senator Grace Poe's Partido Galing at Puso coalition and as an adopted senatorial candidate of Senator Bongbong Marcos, who was then running for vice president.[68][69] He lost in his bid, placing 16th overall. He received the biggest campaign contributions and donations by any senatorial candidate that year through pooled funds from donors.[70] Moreno declared and paid the obligated taxes from his ₱50 million unused campaign donations as stated in his mandatory income tax return, in compliance with the law.[71] Other candidates who declared excess campaign donations during that year were Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, Rodrigo Duterte, Leni Robredo and Francis Escudero.[72] Moreno is among the first few candidates who settled their obligations on excess campaign donations early. Moreno's declaration was sensationalized six years later in 2022 by political rivals even though the Commission on Elections affirmed Moreno's response, stating "there are no rules requiring its disposition in any specific way", confirming Moreno did not violate any law.[73][71] Moreno later stated he believed the legislature should pass a corresponding law or new set of rules to govern excess campaign donations.[74] His term as vice mayor of Manila ended on June 30, 2016, and he was succeeded by Honey Lacuna, daughter of his mentor Danny Lacuna.

Member of Duterte's cabinet

Moreno was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte and served as an external peace consultant for the urban poor of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) popular front, in its peace negotiations with the Duterte administration[75] in 2016 and 2017.[76] He attended peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDFP held in the Netherlands,[77] Oslo,[78] and Rome[79] as an independent observer, along with members of the Government of the Philippines (GRP) before Duterte formally terminated the talks in late 2017.[80] Aside from his role in the peace talks, Moreno refuted having communist ties.[81][82]

In July 2017, Duterte appointed Moreno as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the government-owned-and-controlled North Luzon Railways Corporation (NorthRail).[83] Moreno resigned from the post in October 2017, citing personal reasons.[84]

In May 2018, Moreno was appointed by Duterte as undersecretary for Luzon affairs and special concerns at the Department of Social Welfare and Development.[85] On October 11, 2018, he resigned from this post to run for mayor of Manila in the 2019 election and challenge his former ally, incumbent Mayor Joseph Estrada, with incumbent Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna as Moreno's running mate. Moreno and Estrada had not been on speaking terms following Moreno's failed senatorial bid in 2016.[86]

Mayor of Manila

Moreno campaigning for mayor in 2019

Moreno served as the 27th Mayor of Manila—the 22nd person to hold the position—following his win in the 2019 Manila local elections, in which he defeated both of his predecessors Alfredo Lim and the incumbent mayor Joseph Estrada. At 44, Moreno became the youngest person to become mayor of Manila since Antonio Villegas, who became mayor at age 34 upon the death of Arsenio Lacson in 1962.[87] Moreno and Lim reconciled after the elections and remained on good terms until Lim's death in 2020. Moreno's first 100 days in office were met with positive response.[88][89][90] President Duterte praised Moreno, saying: "He is better than me to be honest. I see that his resolve is stronger than mine." [b][91]

Moreno paying a courtesy visit to then outgoing mayor Joseph Estrada (second from right) weeks after defeating the latter in the 2019 local elections
Moreno during his oathtaking as mayor, with his wife Dynee Ditan Domagoso as bible bearer (far right)
Moreno addressing his constituents at the Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall in July 2019

As part of his advocacy for meritocracy, Moreno promoted several long-time, well-performing employees of Manila City Hall and hired new employees based on qualifications regardless of political affiliation.[92]

Moreno's term as mayor of Manila ended on June 30, 2022, and he was succeeded by his vice mayor and partymate Honey Lacuna. Moreno then officially retired from politics, having served in the government for 24 years.[93][94][95][96]

City services and infrastructure

Moreno with Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados at Manila City Hall in 2019

Moreno signed an ordinance that gives a monthly allowance of 1,000 to each student of the University of the City of Manila and Universidad de Manila, the first in the country. The ordinance also gives Grade 12 students in Manila's public schools a ₱500 monthly allowance to be received via "cash cards".[97]

Senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and solo parents who reside in the capital are entitled to a ₱500 monthly allowance by the city government. The elderly also receive ₱800 and a cake as a birthday gift from the city government, on top of their ₱500 monthly allowance.[98]

Moreno's infrastructure projects and beautification programs included the redevelopment of the historic Jones Bridge,[99] the construction of a 10-story, 384-bed building for the Bagong Ospital ng Maynila to replace the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, which will be converted into the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences Campus of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.[100][101] Moreno's projects also include the redevelopment of Manila Zoo, which reopened on December 30, 2021.[102][103] Also one of Moreno's projects is the Flora V. Valisno de Siojo Dialysis Center at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, the country's largest free dialysis facility named after former mayor Alfredo Lim's grandmother.[88]

Moreno also began the construction and inauguration of Manila Islamic Cemetery and Cultural Hall within Manila South Cemetery, the city's first cemetery exclusive for Muslims.[104]

Moreno (second from left) and then-Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna (left) during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 15-story Binondominium

Public housing for the homeless and city employees was one of Moreno's campaign promises, and his administration oversaw the construction of high-rise, in-city, vertical housing projects such as Tondominium 1 and 2,[105] and Binondominium.[106] In July 2021, illegal settlers and tenants from Baseco Compound were awarded with horizontal townhouses in Manila's community housing project BaseCommunity.[107] A second phase of BaseCommunity is planned.[108]

In 2020, to ease the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic after President Duterte declared the national government was running out of funds to provide aid,[109] the city government of Manila headed by Moreno, sold a 3,701 m2 (39,840 sq ft) land where Divisoria Public Market is situated, a patrimonial property[c][110] which is a part of the old Divisoria Mall, to private company Festina Holdings Inc. The decision was made after the recommendation of the city's Assets Management Committee, which was tasked with finding city assets that were "white elephants"—unused, underused or no-longer beneficial.[111] Divisoria Public Market has not been managed by the city government since 1992 after former mayors handed over management of the land and the market to private company Linkworld Corporation.[112] Aside from the low monthly earnings from the lease, the city government's income from the site had been declining because of non-paying stallholders. The city government said the decision was advantageous for the city since it earned more from the sale of the Divisoria market than the rent it has earned for more than 25 years, and that the sale price of ₱1.45 billion was higher than the Commission on Audit's valuation of the property at ₱173.136 per square meter.[111][113] Further, the office of the city administrator said the city government would earn more funds from the real estate taxes that will be generated from land developers than the tenant fees collected by the vendors.[114][115]

It was also agreed Festina Holdings will pay all required taxes after sales, including capital gains tax.[111] Consultation and notices were given to stallholders, public documentation was widely circulated, and city council resolutions and public-bidding conferences were held; of three bidders, Festina won.[111] Vendors would be temporarily transferred to Pritil Market.[111] The city government assured to the vendors that they would not be removed and that rent should not increase as stated in the agreement made by the company and the city government. As of 2022, no vendors had been moved from their stalls.[111][116][113] Payment obtained from the sale of Divisoria market was used for erecting Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital and 12 quarantine facilities, housing projects, procurement of antiviral medicines, and food packs for the city's 700,000 households.[111] During the 2022 general election, almost two years after the sale was settled, the subject matter resurfaced after Manila mayoral candidate Alex Lopez, son of former mayor Mel Lopez, said its sale lacked transparency and threatened to press charges against Moreno and the city council. Moreno refuted Lopez's allegations as misleading and politically motivated, and said no violations were made as everything was done with due process and was well-documented. Moreno also said some of the vendors and representatives of Divisoria Public Market Credit Cooperative may have been manipulated by Lopez to spread black propaganda and sensationalize the issue for personal interests. Lopez lost in his mayoral bid to Moreno's ally Honey Lacuna in the 2022 Manila local elections.[117][118][119][113]

On February 3, 2021, the city government of Manila, headed by Moreno, acquired a 6,003-square-meter (64,620 sq ft) private lot worth ₱111 million located at Pasig Line in San Andres through Ordinance No. 8115 (2006). The purchased land will be used for the "Land for the Landless" program of Manila Urban Settlements Office. The land acquisition is perceived to provide housing to more than 600 low-income informal settlers and homeless families.[120]

From 2019 to 2020, government-owned banks Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines granted Moreno's request for financial loans for infrastructure projects after the assessment and approval of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). The City of Manila had been denied loans by government-owned banks in the previous city administrations due to a reputation of being "not bankable". In 2019, Moreno reportedly inherited a zero budget from the previous administration. After presenting his infrastructure plans, the DBM's certification to prove the city's capability to pay, and the Supreme Court's Mandanas ruling that entitles local government units to receive an additional budget allocation from both internal revenue taxes and national taxes starting in 2022, the government-owned banks became interested in the potential revenue of Moreno's infrastructures and the city again became "bankable". The loans granted to Manila serve as an advance receipt of Manila's guaranteed Mandanas budget allotment, ensuring future full payment to the banks as well as the revenue that will be generated by the infrastructure assets. Moreno's 10-year infrastructure plan was apparently achieved in three years with the completion of his housing projects, new school buildings, new hospitals, and Manila's renovation and beautification programs. The city government was able to increase tax revenue collection each year from its infrastructure assets in 2019 to 2022 compared to the previous administrations, despite the pandemic, based on the Commission on Audit's annual reports prompting the city government not to impose additional taxes on Manila residents.[121][18]

In March 2022, Moreno met with representatives of Elon Musk's SpaceX to negotiate a contract for the acquisition of Starlink's low Earth orbit satellite broadband internet system for the City of Manila.[122] In May 2022, the National Telecommunications Commission approved Starlink Internet Services Philippines' registration as a value-added service provider, making the Philippines the first country in the ASEAN region to use Starlink's satellite[123] and Manila the first city in Southeast Asia to acquire the service.[122] The system is designed to provide broadband services to remote areas which will offer low latency internet services and when communications are disrupted during natural disasters.[123] The city government of Manila plans to deploy the satellites to 896 barangays, several public schools, police stations, and hospitals.[124]

COVID-19 pandemic response

Main article: COVID-19 pandemic in Metro Manila

Moreno (far left), with then-Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (center) and then-House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (far right) during the Ninoy Aquino Stadium COVID-19 quarantine inspection

On March 10, 2020, the Government of the United Kingdom invited Moreno to attend sessions on proper COVID-19 response; he met with the UK's coronavirus task force officials in London.[125][126] Upon returning to the Philippines, Moreno declared a state of calamity in the city on March 15, 2020, following a directive from Metro Manila Council, after the second and third COVID-19 cases were confirmed. From the same date, Moreno slept in his office for three months to oversee the city government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[127][128]

On March 16, Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW) began rescuing homeless people, as well as people living outside the city who were unable to return home following the imposition of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. They took refuge at Delpan Sports Complex in San Nicolas (near Tondo). The city allocated ₱227.5 million (US$4.45 million) from its budget to assist families affected by the quarantine.[129] On March 18, Moreno ordered all lodging facilities in Manila to provide free accommodations for front-line health workers such as doctors and nurses throughout the period of enhanced community quarantine.[130] To financially help the city government employees, Moreno drafted a resolution ordering the release of their mid-year bonuses. Another resolution appropriating funds and giving cash assistance for the city's job order and contractualized workers was also enacted.[131]

Moreno and then-Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna (right) inspecting the food packs to be distributed to over 700,000 families in Manila

On March 19, the city deployed 189 electric tricycles to exclusively transport front-line health workers to the city's public hospitals. Drivers of electric tricycles received salaries from the city government.[132] The city also coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the national government to source food supplies for the city's families. On April 5, Moreno signed an ordinance enacting the City Amelioration Crisis Assistance Fund (CACAF), allocating ₱591 million (US$12 million) for around 568,000 families and distributing ₱1,000 (US$19.73) to each household.[133] A second tranche of money was given from May 20 to 21 for more than 680,000 families, some of whom did do not receive a payout from the first CACAF distribution.[134]

On March 23, 2020, Moreno launched an online survey via his Facebook page asking Manila residents about their health status in relation to COVID-19 and their recent travel history.[135]

On April 3, 2020, Manila City Council approved an ordinance penalizing discriminatory acts directed against coronavirus patients and other patients under evaluation, including discrimination by health workers on the basis of patients' medical conditions.[136] The following day, Moreno ordered the temporary closure of Ospital ng Sampaloc after five hospital staff contracted the virus.[137] On April 6, 2020, Moreno announced he and several other government officials in the city would donate their salaries to Philippine General Hospital to increase its financial capability amid the pandemic.[138] The Manila city government partnered with the Department of Agriculture to launch the Kadiwa Rolling Store project, a mobile farmers' market that sold fresh products to residents during the closure of retail establishments due to the enhanced community quarantine. The first unit was deployed to Santa Ana on April 6, 2020.[139][140]

Moreno (center), together with then-National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. (right), and then-Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna (left), during the visit of the officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the NTF at the Santa Ana Hospital, Manila, inspecting its cold storage facility that can store up to 900,000 COVID-19 vaccines at a time

On July 15, 2020, Moreno launched the city's drive-through testing facility, where passengers in vehicles could undergo free COVID-19 testing near Bonifacio Shrine in Ermita. The facility was open to both residents and non-residents of the city, and was the first testing facility of its kind in the country.[141] Three days later, the city government opened a second drive-through testing facility at the Quirino Grandstand.[142]

The city government also built Manila COVID-19 Field Hospital in Rizal Park in 52 days,[143] which began admitting patients on June 25, 2021. Moreno thanked the 362 construction workers who built the facility.[144] Manila residents were given cash aid from the national government despite a brief dispute between Moreno and President Duterte; Moreno thanked Duterte for pushing through the aid.[145][146]

Manila became the first local government unit in the country to procure anti-COVID-19 medicines such as Molnupiravir, Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Baricitinib, and Bexovid for aged 12 and above, all of which prevents mild to moderate cases from progressing into severe diseases. Moreno said the drugs were also available to non-city residents.[147][148] In October 2020, the city government of Manila was cited for and received an award from the Department of Health (DOH) for its COVID-19 response. Moreno thanked the city's six district hospitals and Manila Health Department for their service during the pandemic.[149] The DOH also recognized Moreno for the city achieving a 143% accomplishment rate of its child-vaccination program.[150]

Manila was the only city in the National Capital Region that was not under COVID-19 Alert Level 4.[151] Manila was later included in 34th place in Time Out's list of 53 world's best cities, praising its "aggressive COVID-19 response which helped the city stay afloat". Manila was also voted the third-most-resilient city in the same survey.[152] On July 14, 2022, the 12th City Council of Manila honored former Mayor Moreno "for his vibrant leadership that resulted to the City of Manila placing 34th in the Time Out's list of best cities in the world".[153][154]

Cleanup drive

Moreno with then-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu (far right) inspecting the different waterways in Estero de San Antonio Abad of Barangay 718, Malate, Manila that lead to the Manila Bay

Moreno oversaw the cleaning of congested streets of Manila.[155] He ordered the clearing of informal vendors to address the city's congestion problem and waste management, leading to the stopping of extortion of vendors and the exposure of derelict heritage sites within the city.[156]

Moreno (right) and then-Manila Police District director, Vicente Danao (left) leading the destruction of confiscated illegal video karera (online gambling game) machines

Moreno ordered the demolition of illegally built structures, including government edifices, that impeded the movement of motorists and pedestrians.[157] His cleanup drive of Manila North Cemetery after All Souls' day garnered attention online[158] and spurred a nationwide implementation of the same approach to city decongestion.[159][160]

President Rodrigo Duterte echoed Moreno's initiative, ordering the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to "reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends".[161] On October 8, 2019, Moreno signed Executive Order No. 43 mandating all 896 barangays and frontline City Hall offices to conduct a weekly clean-up drive[162] in support of Duterte's directive to clear all public roads and sidewalks of obstructions.[162]

Moreno also ordered the cleaning of Manila's sewers[163] and the removal of dilapidated barges from the Pasig River.[164] He also ordered the cleanup of waters around Baseco Compound, which took 10 days, including weekends, during which more than 30,000 kilograms (66,000 lb) of garbage was collected.[165] Under Moreno's "May Pera Sa Basura" program, the city government launched the community-based "Kolek, Kilo, Kita para Walastik na Maynila" waste-collection program in partnership with private firms and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC). The program was incentivized, aiming to encourage residents to cooperate with the government to reduce the pollution of the Pasig River. For every 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of plastic wastes collected, Unilever Philippines would exchange 10 worth of homecare products.[166]

2022 presidential campaign

Main article: Isko Moreno 2022 presidential campaign

Moreno (right) and Dr. Willie Ong filing their Certificates of Candidacy for president and vice president respectively
Moreno (center) with fellow presidential aspirants Leni Robredo (right) and Manny Pacquiao (left) during the closing moments of the 2nd PiliPinas Debates 2022

On August 4, 2021, Moreno resigned his membership of the National Unity Party and from his post as the party's Vice Chairman for Political Affairs to join Aksyon Demokratiko, and on August 12, he was elected as the party's president.[167][168][169] On September 22, 2021, Moreno declared himself a candidate for President of the Philippines in the 2022 election, with physician and social-media personality Willie Ong serving as his vice presidential running mate. Following the announcement, Ong left the Lakas-CMD party to join Moreno's Aksyon Demokratiko.[170]

Moreno was identified as a populist,[14] some of his views on issues include speeding the nationwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines; maintaining the Duterte administration's "Build! Build! Build!" program"; allowing the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN; lowering excise tax on fuel and utility costs,[171] reviving micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), which were severely affected by COVID-19 lockdowns;[172] increasing labor and employment;[172] additional public housing;[172] boosting development of agriculture,[172] tourism, and creative industries;[172] strengthening of policies in healthcare and education;[172] infrastructure development in rural areas;[172] developing of economic hubs outside Metro Manila;[172] digital transformation and industry 4.0;[172] strengthening of law and order;[172] continuing the Duterte administrations's anti-drug policy in a "more humane approach";[173] good and smart electronic governance;[172] maintaining peaceful relations with other countries and international organizations; and ending divisive politics in favor of an "open governance" rooted in "competence" over "connections".[14][174]

In December 2021, Moreno said he intended to retire in politics if he was not elected as president, and that he would rather spend quality time with his family.[175]

Moreno was not elected president; he finished fourth out of ten candidates, and former senator Bongbong Marcos was elected to the post. Moreno garnered 1,933,909 votes and conceded the election.[176] External observers attribute the failure of his campaign to his lack of political machinery, alleged infighting within his campaign team, disinformation against him, and minimal media coverage. The April 17 joint press conference, at which Moreno criticized presidential candidate Leni Robredo, was also said to work against his campaign.[177][178] According to his Statement of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE), Moreno had no excess campaign contributions and donations, and spent an extra ₱1.1 million from his personal funds for the campaign.[179][180]

Post-mayoralty (2023–present)

In January 2023, Moreno debuted his new weekly web talk show, Iskovery Night under his new venture, Scott Media Productions based in Bonifacio Global City. His first guest was actor Coco Martin. Some of Moreno's staff were former employees of ABS-CBN who were retrenched due to non-renewal of franchise.[181][182]

In June 2023, Moreno joined the noontime variety show Eat Bulaga! (now Tahanang Pinakamasaya) on GMA Network as one of its new hosts, following the departure of the original cast.[183][184] On July 8, he signed a long-term contract with TAPE Inc., as the rumors about the show's cancellation were debunked.[185] Later on July 20, Moreno returns to his home station, GMA Network by signing an exclusive contract with its talent agency, Sparkle.[186] He returned again to acting by joining the Ruru Madrid-led action series Black Rider.

Political positions

Main article: Political positions of Isko Moreno

Moreno during a media interview in 2022

Domestic and social policies

Vandalism and unauthorized tarpaulins

Moreno is also known for his consistent and controversial stand against vandalism and unauthorized tarpaulins.[187]

On November 12, 2019, the left-leaning group Panday Sining, the cultural arm of Anakbayan, defaced the newly painted and cleaned Lagusnilad Underpass near the Manila City Hall. Moreno publicly criticized the group and rejected their apology. Moreno proceeded with the group's arrest after another act of vandalism in Recto LRT Station was attributed to them. Panday Sining was officially declared persona non grata in the city of Manila on December 6, 2019. Many left-leaning groups condemned the mayor's actions against them.[188]

In October 2020, Moreno ordered the removal of tarpaulins declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army, and the National Democratic Front persona non grata in the National Capital Region.[189] This event prompted Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, to ask whether Moreno was welcoming terrorists into Manila.[190] Moreno responded the city government has an ordinance against all forms of vandalism. A few days after, Moreno publicly condemned and ordered the removal of graffiti painted by leftist advocates around Welcome Rotonda. On December 7, 2020, in an interview posted on YouTube, Moreno vehemently denied he had any support for or affiliation with the terrorist groups. Moreno also opposed tarpaulins depicting faces of politicians, even if they are his partymates, and had ordered the removal of political tarpaulins since he assumed office.[191]

LGBT+ rights

Moreno (third from right) and then-Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna (second from right) during the inauguration of the rainbow-colored LGBT+ pedestrian lane in front of the Plaza Rajah Sulayman along Roxas Boulevard

In October 2020, Moreno signed OrdinanceNo. 8695 protecting members of the LGBT community from all forms of discrimination and abuse, including the denial of employment and other opportunities on the basis of the person's sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. As part of its campaign against discrimination, the Manila city government mandated all establishments to have gender-neutral toilets by 2023, and they would be a requirement for the approval and renewal of business permits.[192][193]

In an interview, Moreno said he is not in favor of same-sex marriage, adding: "it is our law and in a civilized world, we are guided by the law".[194] Moreno supports same-sex civil unions.[195]

Women's rights

In November 2020, Moreno signed into law Ordinance No. 8681 known as the "Gender and Development Code of the City of Manila" or the "GAD Code" which increases maternity leave for breastfeeding women working in the private sector, increased paternity leave for new fathers, and increased women's reproductive health benefits. The ordinance also protects women and those of other genders against sexual abuse, violence, trafficking, gender discrimination, pedophilia, commercial exploitation, and sexual harassment. The policy also provides support for victims of violence such as immediate investigations, free medical services and counseling, and the creation of support groups and community-based psychological programs. The ordinance also said one third of jobs in the city development council for gender and development, and in the barangay, should be reserved for women "in recognition of their considerable leadership and involvement".[196]

Moreno has praised the country's female medical and health workers, as well as women front-line workers in other fields, acknowledging their roles as "critical and crucial as much as their male counterparts" in the country's response against COVID-19. He also lauded the mothers who leave their families to fulfill their duties as front-line staff. Moreno also recognized the efforts of his vice mayor Honey Lacuna, Manila's first-ever elected female vice mayor, calling her an "effective leader who has taken solid steps in gender equality and women empowerment", and described her as like an older sister to him. He gave Lacuna executive functions on a par with his mayoral duties. During Moreno's term as mayor, women comprised almost half of City Hall's employees.[197][198][199]

Foreign policy

Moreno expressed strong opinions on a foreign policy aligned with what he called a "Filipino-first" policy, under which the Philippines would form contracts, organizations, and trade agreements, only if they are beneficial to Filipinos.[200]

According to Moreno, the Philippines is not "militarily prepared" for an encounter with China, and that laws such as the Law of the Sea must be upheld. He said he believes the country's defense secretary should come from the navy because the Philippines is an archipelagic country. He said the Philippines' should be "fearless" in asserting the country's claims to South China Sea islands, and should be responsive to the plight of Filipino fishermen, while it should be "fair" and "sensible" in dealing with other countries also occupying some maritime features in the sea, especially in trade. Moreno criticized the United Nations (UN), questioning what they are doing in light of China's disregard of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). According to Moreno, China needs to accept a 2016 arbitration award of the Hague ruling that made clear the Philippines' entitlements, including where it can fish and exploit offshore oil and gas, also citing the Velarde map as reference.[4] He also expressed a wish to form partnerships with other countries and to prepare the Philippines for joint trade with China.[201][202][203]

Moreno expressed support for the Philippines returning to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if the move would "give a good impression to the world".[204]

Public image

Moreno taking a selfie with his supporters

Isko Moreno has been described as a populist who has a "rags-to-riches" story, rising from his childhood as a slum-dwelling scavenger to become a celebrity and later entering politics. Moreno is also known for his streetwise image and his frequent use of Manila street slang, even in media interviews, to engage the masses—especially young adults—earning him the alias "Yorme"[a] when he assumed office as city mayor in 2019. His supporters call Moreno's use of colorful language "ISKOnaryo", portmanteau of Isko and Diksiyonaryo (dictionary). He is also known for his signature dance steps to the song (Dying Inside) To Hold You by Timmy Thomas, a dance he frequently performed during his early show-business career. Moreno's popularity on social media has been attributed to his celebrity status, charisma, and commoner humor. Although his social media presence is well-received, as shown by its massive statistical growth in interactions,[205] a number of critics describe such endeavor as pa-epal (attention-seeker) and "too showbiz". Moreno defended his constant social media updates as part of his "engagement" as mayor, and said "taking selfies" with supporters and granting photo-opportunities are also part of public service.[206] Moreno was voted as one of the top-performing mayors in the National Capital Region in opinion polls during his tenure as Manila city mayor.[207][208][209]

Moreno's remarks against the country's elite positioned him as a "man of the people". Moreno developed a reputation as an "underdog" politician who does not retreat from political giants, elitists, and moralists. Moreno has often been criticized for his "brash" style of talking but he dismisses this as his "real talk style" of addressing his constituents to which the elite could not relate. Moreno also positioned himself as a "politician of the ordinary people", though he was criticized for overusing his rags-to-riches narrative to the point it became clichéd. He has been widely compared to 16th president Rodrigo Duterte; critics labeled him "Duterte Lite" or "Duterte 2.0", and accused him of fence-sitting on some issues pertaining to Duterte.[210][211][212]

Members of Moreno's inner circle have described his work ethic as "proactive" and "workaholic", and his leadership style as "obsessive". His colleagues, supporters, and external observers describe him as a "visionary", "transformative", and "brilliant".[128][213][214][215]


Since 2019, Moreno has donated about ₱100 million of his personal fees from product endorsements to charities; these include Philippine General Hospital, cancer-stricken children, and child liver-transplant patients, and to provinces including Batangas, North Cotabato, and Cebu City, which have been hit by natural disasters.[216][17][217][218]

Personal life

Moreno watching a taekwondo match in the 30th Southeast Asian Games with his youngest son Drake

Since 2000, Moreno has been married to Diana Lynn "Dynee" Ditan (born 1975), a businesswoman and a former taekwondo athlete with the Philippine national team.[219] They have five children, including actor Joaquin Andre ("JD").[220] Other children are Vincent Patrick (born 1998)—Ditan's son from a previous relationship who Moreno adopted,[221] Frances Diane (born 2000), Franco Dylan (born 2006), and Drake Marcus (born 2012).[222][223] In 2022, Moreno became a grandfather at age 47 with his son Joaquin.[224][225][226]

During his early days as councilor of Manila, Moreno said he was once a chaperone to Japanese VIPs in casinos for public-relations purposes.[22] He said although he used to play in casinos whenever he accompanied the Japanese, he denied he gambled whenever he was there, and that he had a gambling addiction. When Memorandum Circular No. 6, series of 2016 of the Presidential Decree No. 1869—which prohibits government officials and employees from gambling in casinos—Moreno said he no longer attends casinos, especially when he started serving as mayor.[227][228]

On August 15, 2021, Moreno tested positive for COVID-19,[229] from which he had recovered by August 25 the same year.[230] Moreno rarely drinks alcohol and he quit smoking in 2021.[228]

Moreno is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Rho and a member of the Davao Durian Eagles Club of the Fraternal Order of Eagles – Philippine Eagles.[231][232] Moreno supports legitimate multi-level network marketing.[233] Aside from his native Tagalog, Moreno can speak English in a professional working proficiency level.[234][235] Moreno is a practicing Catholic.[236]

Moreno cites Lee Kuan Yew, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ferdinand Marcos's approach to infrastructure projects as his inspirations in the field of governance.[237]

Moreno's life and works have been featured in books; 'God First' Why Isko Moreno: I'M Doing It (Isko Moreno), which was written by Rick A. Conchada and published in November 2019, discusses Moreno's work as Manila's mayor. A children's book entitled Yorme! The Life Story of Isko Moreno (2021) was written by Yvette Fernandez and illustrated by Ray Sunga; it became one of the best-selling books at National Book Store.[238][239]

Awards, honors, and recognition

During mayoral term

Under Moreno's administration, the local government of the City of Manila won its first-ever Good Financial Housekeeping recognition from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for 2019.[240]

In a December-2020 year-end survey conducted by research group RP-Mission and Development (RPMD) Foundation Inc., Moreno had a 77% approval rating from the city's residents, becoming the third top-performing mayor in the National Capital Region after Joy Belmonte of Quezon City with 85% and Vico Sotto of Pasig with 82%.[241] In another survey conducted by RPMD in September 2021, Moreno was ranked the top-performing mayor in the National Capital Region with an 88% approval rating. He was followed by Belmonte with 82% and Sotto with 81%.[242]

The City of Manila was included in the top 50 finalists of the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a competition that aims to identify and implement the most-innovative ideas developed by cities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Manila and the city of Butuan in Mindanao were the only Southeast Asian cities to appear on the list, which was selected from a pool of 631 cities that applied that year.[243]

On October 29, 2021, the local government unit (LGU) of Manila, under Moreno's administration, won three awards during the Digital Governance Awards 2021 (LGUs Best Practices in Information and Communication Technology) by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The awards include the COVID-19 Testing Center "Web-Lab-IS" – Best in LGU Empowerment Award (city level) at 1st Place, the City of Manila "Connection for Inclusion" Award – Best in Customer Empowerment Award (city level) at 1st Place, and the Business Permit Licensing Service (BPLS) – Best in Business Empowerment Award for its GO Manila App end-to-end solution (city level) at 2nd Place. The GO Manila App, which was launched in 2014, was improved to provide residents access to an online one-stop-shop giving LGU system automation and e-Services. Moreno planned the app to "help make transactions more convenient, transparent, and limit human discretion".[244][245]

In June 2022, the City of Manila was awarded the Gawad Edukampyon for Learning Continuity Innovation Award in the highly urbanized city category by the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Center for Local Governance and Professional Development Inc., the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Council, and REX Publication during the first Gawad Edukampyon for Local Governance Awarding Ceremony in recognition of Manila's educational programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic under Moreno's administration. The award highlighted Manila's Continuity Education Plan called Connection for Inclusion 2.0, which focused on integrating information and communications technology (ICT) in schools.[246]

Public service

Moreno was listed in a list of "Top 10 Men Who Matter in 2011" by PeopleAsia Magazine.[247] He also received the "2012 Most Outstanding Filipino in the Field of Public Service Award" by Gawad Amerika Foundation.[247]

The Asia Leaders Awards of 2019 and 2020 chose Moreno as "Man of the Year in Public Service".[248][249] In November 2019, Moreno won the 2019 Gusi Peace Prize in recognition for his work in "consistently creating positive changes" during his time as vice mayor and councilor.[250] The same month, Esquire Philippines gave Moreno the "Breakthrough Award" for his "distinguished track records in public service, leadership, and governance" during their Man At His Best 2019 Honors night given to outstanding men and women in the fields of art, film, fashion, sports, business, and public service.[251][252] Moreno was also chosen as "The Management Man of the Year" awardee for 2019–2020 by the Philippine Council of Management (Philcoman).[42]

In November 2019, the Harvard Business School Owner/President Management (HBS OPM) Club of the Philippines, a club composed of Harvard graduates in the Philippines, honored Moreno as its first-ever awardee for being a "Gamechanger in Politics" and recognized his "outstanding leadership" and "dedicated public service".[253] He was also conferred with honorary membership in the club.[254]

Moreno was listed as one of the "Men Who Matter" in 2019 by PeopleAsia Magazine.[255] and was listed as one of the magazine's "People of the Year" in 2020 and 2022.[256][247]

In March 2021, Moreno was adopted as a member of Sanlingan Class 2005 of the Philippine Military Academy.[257] Also in 2021, he received a "Hero of the Year" recognition from Gawad Filipino Heroes Award for his efforts during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.[258] The Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) awarded Moreno the "Inspirational and Outstanding Leader Award" in recognition of his "exceptional city governance and excellent response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic" in the same year.[259]

Moreno received the "Golden Peacock Award of Excellence" in 2021 from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Inc. (FICCI) Philippines in recognition of the city government's service to the city's residents and businesspersons.[260]

In April 2022, the Mrs. Universe Philippines Foundation awarded Moreno as one of the "Philippines' Most Exceptional Men of 2022".[261]

In October 2022, he received a "Gawad Sulo for Public Service Award" from the Philippine Normal University at their 2022 Gawad Sulo for Public Service and Salute to Excellence event.[262]

In April 2014, Moreno was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities in Community Development (Honoris Causa) by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.[263] On December 12, 2020, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) from San Beda University.[264]


Electoral history

Manila city council election for the first district, 2004:

Manila vice mayoral election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes %
Asenso Manileño Isko Moreno (Francisco Domagoso) 176,215
PMP Joey Hizon 166,169
Lakas–Kampi Don Ramon Bagatsing 147,978
Independent Cita Astals 13,062
Aksyon Roberto Ortega Jr. 11,688
Total votes 515,112 100.00%
Asenso Manileño hold
Manila vice mayoral election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Nacionalista Isko Moreno (Francisco Domagoso) 498,609 79.86
PMP Bonjay Isip-Garcia 119,380 19.12
LM Francisco Pizarra 3,614 0.58
Independent Benjamin Riano 2,765 0.44
Majority 379,229 60.74%
Valid ballots 624,368 90.20
Invalid or blank votes 67,815 9.80
Total votes 692,183 100.00
Nacionalista hold
Manila vice mayoral election, 2013[266]
Party Candidate Votes %
UNA Isko Moreno Domagoso 373,320 62.59%
Liberal Lou Veloso 222,933 37.41%
Total votes 596,253 100.00%
UNA hold

Senatorial election, 2016:

Manila mayoral election, 2019[267]
Party Candidate Votes %
Asenso Manileño Isko Moreno Domagoso 357,925 50.44%
PMP Joseph Estrada (incumbent) 210,605 29.67%
PDP–Laban Alfredo Lim 138,923 19.57%
Independent Others 2,262 0.32%
Total votes 709,715 100.00%
Asenso Manileño gain from PMP

Philippine presidential election, 2022:

Bongbong MarcosPFP31,629,78358.77
Leni RobredoIndependent
(Liberal Party member running as independent)
Manny PacquiaoPROMDI3,663,1136.81
Isko Moreno DomagosoAksyon1,933,9093.59
Ping LacsonReporma
(later Independent)
Faisal MangondatoKTPNAN301,6290.56
Ernie AbellaIndependent114,6270.21
Leody de GuzmanPLM93,0270.17
Norberto GonzalesPDSP90,6560.17
Jose Montemayor Jr.DPP60,5920.11
Valid votes53,815,48495.94
Invalid/blank votes2,279,7504.06
Total votes56,095,234100.00
Registered voters/turnout67,525,61983.07
Source: The Congress sitting as the National Board of Canvassers[268]



Year Title Role Director Note(s) Ref(s).
1993 Dalawang Larawan ng Pag-ibig Cameo [269]
May Minamahal Carlitos Tagle (15 years old) Jose Javier Reyes Introducing (as Kiko Moreno)
1994 Muntik Na Kitang Minahal Toby Mel Chionglo First lead role
Eat All You Can Jomar Mike Relon Makiling [270]
Brat Pack Student Deo Fajardo Jr. [271]
1995 Bocaue Pagoda Tragedy Jun Jun Maria Saret
Dodong Scarface Eddie Pepe Marcos [272]
Pulis Patola 2 Robert Felix E. Dalay [273]
Pamilya Valderama Elmer Augusto Salvador [274]
1996 Tukso Layuan Mo Ako 2 Abbo Dela Cruz [275]
1997 Exploitation Edward Santillan Mauro Gia Samonte [276]
Siya'y Nagdadalaga Luis Neal "Buboy" Tan [277]
Frats Kaloy Armando Reyes
1998 Mga Babae sa Isla Azul [278]
1999 Misteryosa Neal "Buboy" Tan [279]
2014 Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo Padre José Burgos Enzo Williams
2019 3pol Trobol: Huli Ka Balbon! Yorme Rodel Nacianceno [280]
2022 Yorme: The Isko Domagoso Story Himself Joven Tan Narrator [281]
2023 Martyr or Murderer Ninoy Aquino Darryl Yap [282]
TBA Malvar: Tuloy ang Laban Andrés Bonifacio Jose "Kaka" Balagtas [283]


Year Title Network Role Note(s) Ref(s).
1993 Young Love, Sweet Love RPN 9 Doorbell Guy 1 episode – Extra/Uncredited [25]
1993–1996 That's Entertainment GMA Network Himself / Host / Performer Monday group [284][285]
1994–1998 GMA Telesine Specials Various roles Various episodes (drama anthology series)
1994 Maalaala Mo Kaya ABS-CBN Episode: "Manok" [286]
1995 Episode: "Keychain" [287]
Episode: "Simbahan" [288]
1996 Kampus 101 IBC [289]
Maalaala Mo Kaya ABS-CBN Episode: "Sagwan" [290]
1997 Episode: "Puting Panyo" [291]
2000 Wansapanataym Teban Episode: "Wonder Jeepney"
2002 Sana ay Ikaw na Nga GMA Network Guest [292]
2004 Maalaala Mo Kaya ABS-CBN Himself (cameo) Episode: "Aklat" [293]
2005–2006 Mga Anghel na Walang Langit Father Vincent [31]
2007 Bakekang GMA Network Victor Guest star [294]
2008 Ligaw Na Bulaklak ABS-CBN Mon D. Rodriguez [295]
That's My Job ABC Himself Host [296]
2012 Gandang Gabi, Vice! ABS-CBN Guest [297]
Wasak AksyonTV [298]
2013 Dokumentado TV5
2014 The Ryzza Mae Show GMA Network [299]
2019 Eat Bulaga! Judge – Miss Millennial Philippines 2019 Grand Coronation Day [300]
Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho Guest [301]
Bubble Gang Yorme Cameo appearance (2 episodes) [37]
Gandang Gabi, Vice! ABS-CBN Himself Guest [302]
2020 Eat Bulaga! GMA Network Contestant – Bawal Judgmental Segment [303]
Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho Special guest [304]
Magandang Buhay ABS-CBN Guest
2021 7 Last Words Kapamilya Channel Testimony Sharer – First Word [305]
2022 Family Feud GMA Network Contestant – Domagoso Family [306]
2023–present Iskovery Night Scott Media Production Corp. Himself / Host Web series
Tahanang Pinakamasaya GMA Network [183]
Black Rider Santiago "Tiagong Dulas"

NOTE: List includes short television guestings.


  1. ^ a b A verlan backslang metathesis of the English word "mayor", which is used in Taglish and reversed phonemically as part of Filipino/Tagalog street slang.
  2. ^ transl. "Mas mahusay siya kaysa sa akin sa totoo lang. May nakita ako na mas mahusay ang resolve niya kaysa sa akin"[91]
  3. ^ Article 422 of the Civil Code of the Philippines states "property of public dominion, when no longer intended for public use or for public service, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the State". Therefore, patrimonial assets refers to those that are not of public use, serve no public purpose, do not increase national wealth, or are declared by government to have no public value.


  1. ^ a b Morales, Neil Jerome (September 22, 2021). "Manila mayor declares Philippine presidential bid". Reuters. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  2. ^ Mendoza, John Eric (August 12, 2021). "Isko Moreno now Aksyon Demokratiko president". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
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Political offices Preceded byDanny Lacuna Vice Mayor of Manila 2007–2016 Succeeded byHoney Lacuna Preceded byJoseph Estrada Mayor of Manila 2019–2022 Party political offices First Asenso Manileño nomineefor Vice Mayor of Manila 2007, 2010, 2013 Succeeded byHoney Lacuna VacantTitle last held byDanny Lacuna Asenso Manileño nomineefor Mayor of Manila 2019 VacantTitle last held byRaul Roco Aksyon Demokratiko nomineefor President of the Philippines 2022 Most recent