The life of FRANCISCO DOMAGOSO, known today as ISKO MORENO is a classic story of a “basurero” (otherwise known as Scavenger) in Smokey Mountain, a garbage dumpsite in Manila, who rose to become the second most important political figure in the country’s capital city.
ISKO as he is fondly called, was born on October 24, 1974 in Parola, Tondo, Manila. His father, JOAQUIN DOMAGOSO, who hails from Antique, worked at Manila’s North Harbor as an ARRASTRE or STEVEDORE while his mother, ROSARIO MORENO, a native of Samar, helped to augment the meager income of the family working as “LABANDERA”.
ISKO grew up in a small shanty in a squatter area where eating three times a day is considered a luxury. To help his family survive, he decided to work as “BASURERO” (scavenger) while attending elementary education at Rosauro Almario Elementary School. Upon reaching high school at the age of 12, he promoted himself by working as a pedicab driver and bravely battled the streets of Manila until he finished high school. Convinced that the only way he can get his family out of poverty is through education, he pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a “SEAMAN”by enrolling at the Philippine Maritime Institute (PMI) and it was during this time that he was discovered by a talent scout who eventually introduced him to the world of SHOWBUSINESS, putting a temporary stall to his tertiary studies.
In 1998, determined to help his kababayan in Tondo, ISKO run for the City Council at the age of 23 and was elected as the youngest City Councilor in the political history of the City of Manila and on his re-election in 2001, garnered the most number of votes in terms of percentage in all 6 districts of Manila, making him the no.1 Councilor.
In the City Council, ISKO identified himself with various pro-poor agenda advocating ordinances and resolutions focusing mainly on education, health care and low cost housing for the poor.
Despite his busy schedule as a Councilor, ISKO managed to pursue and finish his tertiary education, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Management degree at the International Academy of Management and Economics. Not contented, he took up crash courses in local legislation and finance at the University of the Philippines (UP) and even enrolled at the Arellano College of Law where he is on his sophomore year. Vice Mayor Moreno likewise had Executive Education Program training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University and was part of the International Visitors Leadership Program, sponsored by the U.S Department of State in Washington DC in 2010. Just last October, he was again accepted at the Oxford University for The Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme and most recently, he was conferred a doctorate degree on Community Development by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), one of the youngest ever to be given such conferment.
In 2007, ISKO decided to take a big leap in his political career by running as Vice Mayor in the country’s capital. Pitted against one of the most formidable political figures in the city but backed by his outstanding achievement at the City Council, he was elected as the youngest Vice Mayor of Manila at 32 years old. He established pro-poor programs, namely “BOTIKA NI ISKO”, a mini pharmacy where medicines and vitamins are given for free, “ISKOLAR NG BAYAN” and “ASENSO MANILENO”, a program which aims to sell meat and food products at a lower and affordable cost.
ISKO went on to win his re-election bid in 2010 garnering an overwhelming 73.43% of the votes casted and his third and final term in the recently concluded 2013 elections.
ISKO MORENO was such an inspiration to his peers that he was elected President of the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines in 2011 and was cited by PEOPLE ASIA Magazine in its July 2011 issue, as one of the Top 10 MEN WHO MATTER”…The list includes men of distinguished personalities who come from various fields and endeavors like Megaworld’s Kevin Tan, Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa, Dr. Z ShenTeo, Jed Madela, Prateek Kumar, Donnie Tantoco and Mark Nicdao.
Serving his third and final term as Vice Mayor, ISKO was recently appointed by former President and now Mayor Joseph Estrada as Manila’s traffic czar, primarily tasked to instill order and discipline in the streets of Manila. He was responsible for the controversial BUS Regulation Policy in the City of Manila, which for the first time in years, eased traffic flow in the busy streets of Manila and just recently, implemented the Daytime Truck Ban and Regulation of all three-wheeled vehicles. He and the Mayor have likewise implemented the “NO KOTONG POLICY” (no take policy) and “ONE STRIKE POLICY” in dealing with law and traffic enforcers of the City and was credited for cleaning Divisoria and Recto of illegal vendors.
In all of his political career, ISKO MORENO’s integrity and character has been tested, underestimated and even mocked but time and time again, he has proven all of them wrong because having been exposed to poverty and hardships growing up, he has managed to remain humble and true to his oath as a public servant.
February 10, 2017 Isko Moreno established the Nutricium Nature’s Wealth Corportation.
July 12, 2017 President Duterte appoints Isko Moreno as chair of North Luzon Railways Corp (NLRC)
May 9, 2018 Former Manila City Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso was appointed as an Undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Surely, more still has to come. A very young man at 42 years, the horizon of greater things loom. The door to success is open, far and wide. This is Isko Moreno’s rendezvous with destiny.