Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Thursday confidently predicted that he will be re-elected as chief executive of the country’s capital city.
Estrada based his conviction on his accomplishments and promise of putting up more legacy-building projects in the next three years to bring back Manila’s old glory. He is seeking a second term as mayor of Manila under his Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).
His opponents are former Mayor Alfredo Lim and District 5 Rep. Amado Bagatsing.
Based on the results of an April 2016 pre-election survey for the City of Manila conducted by D’ Strafford Research and Strategies Inc. in partnership with Smart Poll Research Center, Estrada was leading at 47 percent, a significant 13 percent edge over former Manila mayor Lim (34 percent), with Bagatsing trailing with an 18 percent rating. Undecided was only one percent.
Across all districts, Estrada received the strong support of Manileños, and when asked what were their reasons in choosing their mayoralty bet, respondents said they chose Estrada because of the programs he had laid out in Manila.
In predicting his victory, Estrada claimed that “his rivals are now panicking as seen by their hastily-formed alliances and dropping of original allies in a desperate effort to bring him down.”
“Wala na yata silang laban dahil nagsama-sama na sila, e. Nag-iiwanan sila. Medyo nagpa-panic na [They have no chances of winning because they have already bonded together. They are fond of abandoning teammates. They are panicking],” he pointed out in describing Lim and Rep. Lito Atienza.
Lim abandoned his original running mate, Manila 1st District Rep. Benjamin “Atong” Asilo, and picked Atienza’s son Ali as his new vice mayoralty partner.
“They are panicking as indicated by the fact that they are changing alliances. That shows I am the stronger contender,” Estrada said.
He assured Manileños that his second term will be a busy one as many programs and projects are scheduled for implementation in the next three years.
In his first term, Estrada managed to settle the city government’s debt of P5.5 billion left by Lim’s administration.
The city government was able to shore up funds to implement much-needed programs and projects like the P500-million modernization of Manila’s six public hospitals and 59 health centers.
The city’s revenue also increased from P6.6 billion in 2012 to P7.2 billion in 2013 and to P9.2 billion in 2014. By 2015, the city has built up a general fund of P5 billion.
On top of that, Estrada allotted P1.9 billion for crime prevention, which includes P136 million in back allowances of the Manila Police District (MPD) members and the procurement of 41 new mobile patrol cars and 110 electric personal transporters.
These resulted in the improvement of MPD’s crime solution efficiency from 24.55 percent in 2013-2014 to 38.05 percent in 2014-2015.
In infrastructure, 133 projects worth P7.4 billion were completed.
Estrada allocated almost P1 billion for disaster preparedness, dramatically improving the city’s emergency response capabilities.
He implemented comprehensive social welfare programs, especially benefiting indigent residents, under his “Bata’t Matanda, Alaga sa Maynila” policy – including free health care and hospitalization, feeding projects for malnourished elementary students, mass distribution of school supplies and uniforms for pupils, housing programs for landless families and informal settlers, expanded financial assistance and benefits for micro and small entrepreneurs and senior citizens and centenarians, and even free burial services.
The budgets of the 897 barangays (villages )were also increased to fund community development projects.