MANILA, PHILIPPINES The famed Manila City mayor, Isko Moreno, who is known for his innovative and systematic approach in bringing back Manila’s former glory, recently expressed his gratitude to the Church’s humanitarian arm, Latter-day Saint Charities, for its continued support in donating the needed hygiene kits, PPEs, surgical face masks, and alcohol to the Manileños.

In a meeting with the mayor together with other government officials and Church’s representatives, Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, Second Counselor of the Philippine Area Presidency, was seen talking to Mayor Isko about the worldwide COVID-19 relief projects of the Church, the principle of fasting and fast offering, and the church’s efforts to help families to be self-reliant.

“We believe in helping individuals and families to be self-reliant,” Elder Wakolo said. “When we hear about individuals who are affected—over 50,000 individuals—we always know that these are family members, these are individuals.”  

Elder Wakolo also said that the Church will continue to help affected families not just in Manila but in other countries as well by donating needed items.

Mayor Isko then commented that this method is an efficient way to fight COVID-19 altogether. He also expressed his gratitude towards the members worldwide after Elder Wakolo mentioned that the Church’s COVID-19 relief efforts were made possible because of members’ fast offerings.

“Send my thanks to the members,” Mayor Isko said. “They are all welcome here in the city.” 

The mayor also reassures that the Manila City government will continue to treat all religions fairly—adding that the diversity in Manila is its unique asset.

“We don’t let our religious belief to interfere in functions of our local duty. We respect everyone’s beliefs. So when you create [a] policy it’s for everyone [regardless of their] material status in life [and] beliefs in life. We treat them fairly.” 

The mayor also proudly boasts to Elder Wakolo that Manila’s battle cry ever since he became Mayor is “Manila, God First!”

“No matter what your belief in life you must continue to believe that it doesn’t matter how much power you have—you must continue to believe that there is a higher being,” he said while pointing his pointer finger up. “No amount of Mayor or President can solve this type of crisis. What we need is God’s intervention,” he concluded.

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Josh Flores is a writer for Moroni Channel. He studies commercial law at De La Salle University and served his mission in Japan.
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