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Mayor Aleli-3



Manila mayoral candidate Atty. Alex Lopez talks about reclaiming
Manila’s image and glory as the country’s premier city.

Thriving in the private sector for most of his career, one wonders why Atty. Alex Lopez decided to run for public office only at this point in his life. The 63-year-old businessman will be up against four candidates for the mayoralty in the City of Manila, including incumbent Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna.

“I’ve always considered Manila to be my home,” the Tondo-born gentleman says simply, when asked about his decision to run as Manila mayor. “But most importantly, I’ve always kept the people of Manila in my heart. As a son of a politician from Manila, I grew up thinking of the welfare of Manileños.”

The politician that Lopez was referring to is his late father, former Manila Mayor Gemiliano “Mel” Lopez, who served as the capital city’s chief executive after the Edsa Revolution in 1986 until the end of former President Cory Aquino’s term in 1992. The younger Lopez, then in his late 20s to early 30s, was his father’s private secretary during the old man’s stint as mayor.

As his father’s right hand man, Lopez—who completed degrees in Economics and Law at the Ateneo de Manila University—didn’t only manage his father’s private affairs. The official profile provided to LEAGUE indicates that he had a huge influence in the way the city was run in those times.

Lopez says he was responsible for the prioritization of the construction of more than 2,000 classrooms citywide. He was instrumental in the increase in allowances of the city’s teachers in 1987, the creation of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila’s (PLM) College of Medicine, and the increase in the city’s subsidy for the PLM.

Lopez also assisted his father in undertaking strong economic reforms—“to erase the debt of Manila City Hall, leaving with it a budget of Php700 million which was turned over to Mayor Alfredo Lim.”

Since the early 1990s, Lopez had decided to focus on growing the family-owned Pacific Concrete Products Inc., which he’s proud to say has received the Philippine Accreditation Board’s highest accreditation as a Quadruple A (“AAAA”) construction company. Some of the firm’s notable projects are SCTEX, TPLEX, CLEX, Bonifacio Global City and SM Mall of Asia Road Networks, NAIA 1 to 4, and PAL Terminal Runways.


Lopez says he decided to run for mayor because he sees the need to do so. “I feel that there’s another calling [for me],” he says. The man has been forthright in his interviews, stressing his discontent in the way current Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has been running the city. He mentioned about wrong priorities, funds that have been misspent, and ordinances that were not responsive to the needs of Manileños.

“They borrowed Php 15 billion. Php1.7 billion was spent on the [Manila] zoo. It was clearly a wrong priority,” he says, shaking his head. “That’s too much. That’s budget already for three small provinces. I think I could have renovated the zoo for a hundred million bucks and made it look better.”

He mentions the school buildings that were demolished and rebuilt during the pandemic. “There’s a pandemic; a lot of people are suffering. Why would you demolish school buildings that are still ok?” he says. “These are not condemned buildings. These are heritage buildings. They were demolished for the sake of having projects, which I think were not timely projects.” He says the incumbent mayor should have prioritized providing the basic needs of the people of Manila—jobs, shelter, medicine, and support (honoraria) for frontliners.

“I am an astute student of economics. I think my economics background will help bring more jobs. I will help uplift the lives of our people. There are many economic principles and policies which I think are not being adopted by the city,” he says, when asked what he could contribute should he get elected as mayor.

Lopez says he’s not discounting the fact that Domagoso has done a good job in trying to promote the city’s image. “He’s an image builder,” he says. “As for me, being an economist, I want to institute change by empowering the marginalized.”

He continues, “There is a saying that goes, ‘You give a man fish, you feed him for the day. You teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.’ But that’s not exactly true. You may know how to fish, but that’s not enough if you don’t have a boat and a fishing net. So that’s what I want to do in the City of Manila—provide financing. We’ve done that during my father’s time. We put up cooperatives to help the marginalized.”

The lawyer-economist says he wanted to restore Manila’s image and glory as the country’s premier city. “Today, we’re number three in Metro Manila and eighth nationwide among LGUs in terms of income. That means business has slowed down. Many other cities have overtaken us. I think it’s because of the wrong policies, wrong priorities,” he says.

Lopez believes his rich background in business can help the city get back on track. “Running private corporations, I give value to our shareholders and stakeholders. That’s also what I intend to do if I become mayor of Manila,” he says.


Lack of housing is one the biggest problems of the city. Lopez intends to solve this “not by destroying schools,” but by expropriating informal settlers. “There are about 200 estates with informal settlers [in Manila]. We’re going to build housing units for the poor in those areas,” he tells LEAGUE.

To address traffic congestion, he’s planning to have more oneway streets and build more parking spaces. He also intends to help improve the city’s mass transport system. “You know you have a good transport system if the rich like to ride the train,” he says.

Strengthening peace and order means starting from the grassroots—by that, he means providing additional allowances to the barangay tanods. “Did you know that a barangay tanod earns Php1500 in Manila? Php50 a day. Let’s give them additional Php1000 or Php2000 allowance.”

Camera capability of the barangays should also be improved. So he’s planning to install more CCTV cameras and provide a few drones per police precinct, so that their uniformed personnel can properly monitor and maintain peace and order in the streets of Manila.

“The police force of Manila was once Metro Manila’s finest. How can that be if they’re using scooters? I want to bring back Manila’s Finest again,” says Partido Federal ng Pilipinas’ mayoral bet. There should be more police visibility, mobile patrols going around. Police precincts should be refurbished and the policemen’s support equipment updated and improved. “Let’s give additional Php1000 allowance to the city’s 5000 policemen. If we have 5000 policemen, that’s only Php 5 million. You can build a zoo worth Php 1.7 billion but you can’t add Php1000 to the policemen’s allowance?”

In six years’ time under his administration, Lopez says he’s hoping to see less poverty and more jobs. “We do that through empowerment of the marginalized, building more housing units for the poor,” he says. “I’d like to see river walks and more dolomite beaches. I’m proposing to have two in Parola, and one in Baseco. More fishports. More trading activities.”

Lopez believes he’s got what it takes to be a good leader. “A good leader should have the people’s welfare in his heart. The people’s welfare should be your primary goal,” he says. I believe that a public office is a public trust. It must be served with the highest degree of integrity, honesty. Your willingness to serve should be paramount. You have to sacrifice your personal interests for the common good. Your personal gain and political career should take a backseat.”

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