Praises for Isko Moreno momentarily held back when food truck featured his face

July 16, 2019 - 1:59 PM
Isko Moreno
Mayor Isko Moreno addresses cameras while sitting at his office inside the Manila City Hall. (Isko Moreno office/Released)

A food truck bearing the name and face of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno was criticized on social media as it appeared to go against the mayor’s earlier vow against politicking.

The food truck called “Kusina ni Isko” provided food to attendees of a flag raising ceremony at the Andres Bonifacio Shrine in the morning of July 15.

It featured photos of Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña, the logo of the business name “Kusina ni Isko” and the official seal of the city of Manila.

When photos of the truck were shared by a news outlet, the post initially gathered support and praises to Moreno online.

However, some users argued that this contradicted the mayor’s earlier view against placing the names of politicians on buildings and infrastructures, specifically schools.

Andrew Olivar, a pro-administration blogger who came under fire last year, likened this food truck service to “Duterte’s Kitchen,” a restaurant of the president’s namesake in Quezon City.

“Naalala ko ang Duterte Kitchen dito. Nainspire talaga si Isko kay Duterte at sa mga DDS na nakaisip din ng Duterte Kitchen,” Olivar said on Facebook.

Moreno’s anti-epal policy

One of Moreno’s first policies this July was the removal of tarpaulins and other paraphernalia with the names of politicians— including his own—in schools.

This policy, which he raised at the City School Board meeting, was the execution of his previously aired views that politicians should not use publicly funded infrastructures and buildings to seek attention and commendation.

“Walang epal sa pader ng eskwelahan. Walang epal sa mga basketball court, gymnasium na pinagawa ng mga pulitiko sa loob ng eskwelahan,” he told reporters.

“That is not your money. Pera ‘yan ng taumbayan,” he added.

Concerns about the food truck later reached Moreno who denied that the truck was government-funded. It was a donation, the mayor said.

Still, he still requested that his and Lacuña’s faces be removed and change the initiative’s name to “Kusina ng Maynila.”

“Nakisuyo na po ako sa nag-donate po ng food truck na huwag na lang ilagay ang mukha at pangalan ko. Siguro ilagay na lang po nila ‘Kusina ng Maynila’ o kaya ‘Kusina para sa Batang Maynila,” he said.

“Next flag ceremony, wala na po iyan,” he added.

Anti-epal laws

Some lawmakers have sought to create measures to stop the practice of displaying their names and photos on government projects.

In 2013, the Commission on Audit issued Circular 2013-004 that stated it is unnecessary for government officials to display or affix pictures, motto, initials or any similar graphic representation of themselves on publicly funded initiatives.

In previous years, Sens. Manny Pacquiao and Chiz Escudero filed similar proposed measures against the promotional activities, citing that they promote premature campaigning.