CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Oscar Moreno will go back to teaching law after he turns over the leadership of Cagayan de Oro to its new leader by the end of the month.
The outgoing mayor spoke of his post-mayorship plans to reporters after he led for the last time the celebration of the country’s Independence Day at Cagayan de Oro’s Plaza Divisoria on Sunday, June 12.
Sunday’s 124th Independence Day celebration was Moreno’s ninth since 2013 when he was first elected as the city’s mayor, and his 18th since 2004 when he became the governor of Misamis Oriental province.
“I have led the Independence Day celebration in the city for nine years. This will be the last time, but the journey will continue,” Moreno said.
Moreno’s political career has spanned 24 years, including a six-year stint as a congressman who represented the 1st District of Misamis Oriental beginning in 1998.
He would have wanted to stay in public office, but he lost the three-cornered gubernatorial race in Misamis Oriental in May to Gingoog City Vice Mayor Peter Unabia.
A corporate lawyer, Moreno rose to national prominence when he served as one of the House prosecutors in the now-aborted impeachment trial of then-president Joseph Estrada.
Moreno said he would teach law at the Jesuit-run Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan where he received his formal education before going to law school in Manila. Teaching was something that he did before he became a local chief executive.
By June 30, Moreno would turn over the leadership of Cagayan de Oro to a new mayor, Representative Rolando “Klarex” Uy of the city’s 1st District. The two have long been political allies.
Moreno said he would also practice law again, and was open to the idea of doing consultancy work when he returns to private life.
He said he has already received some offers of consultancy work, but nothing had panned out yet.
In his nine years as Cagayan de Oro mayor, Moreno made healthcare the cornerstone of his administration and led the city as it struggled during the worst period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Moreno, city hall embarked on a COVID-19 vaccination program that saw some 750,000 residents inoculated. The number accounted for 98% of city hall’s identified COVID-19 vaccine-eligible residents.
The pandemic has so far left 931 residents dead, and city hall counted a total of 25,821 residents infected in two years as of April 11. There were 24,861 recoveries though.
Moreno had three hospitals constructed during his term, two of which – the Center for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases (CEREID) medical facility in Barangay San Simon and Lumbia hospital – were built during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asked if he has plans of seeking public office again three years from now, Moreno said, “I have no plans yet for 2025.” – Rappler.com