Feb. 7, 2022
MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos Leaves Post
Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos, Jr. has resigned from his post as Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which he held for more than a year.
"I would like to announce that I am resigning as MMDA Chairman effective the end of business hours of February 7, 2022. I have submitted my resignation letter to the President. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the Filipino people as MMDA chair," Abalos said during the press briefing at the MMDA headquarters in Makati City.
“The campaign period is fast approaching and I would need to devote my time to Senator Bongbong Marcos’ campaign as his national campaign manager. While I am extremely saddened by this, I wish the agency success in its every program, project, and initiative for the betterment of the metropolis," Abalos said.
Abalos designated incumbent MMDA General Manager Romando Artes as the agency’s Officer-in-Charge, pending the appointment of the next MMDA chairman by Malacañang.
“GM Artes is a lawyer. He knows everything. However, let me reiterate that the President has the prerogative to appoint the next chairman of the MMDA,” he stressed.
Abalos also emphasized that he is thankful to President Rodrigo Duterte for the appointment.
"I thanked President Duterte for his full trust and confidence in me, most especially for believing in my capability to lead the MMDA,” Abalos said.
Abalos, a lawyer, served as MMDA chief for more than a year, replacing the late MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim who passed away in January 2021.
Since his appointment, Abalos demonstrated his passion and dedication for his job as head of the MMDA, the country’s capital with more than 12 million residents.
He has led a significant number of programs and projects carrying out the mandates of the agency under Republic Act No. 7924. Among these are the pandemic response of the National Capital Region and the policies initiated through the Metro Manila Council (MMC) to further decrease the number of COVID-19 cases towards eventual herd immunity in the region.
TAbalos also steered the COVID-19 pandemic response of the National Capital Region. He spearheaded the vaccination of the agency's employees, as well as economic frontliners such as Philippine Basketball Association officials, cagers, and workers, and those from the entertainment industry.
LEADING THE METRO MANILA COUNCIL
As an overall Chairman of the Metro Manila Council, Abalos also initiated the "Vax As One" program of the Metro Manila mayors. He worked closely with the local chief executives and coordinated with one another towards the downward trend of COVID-19 cases in the metropolis. It has approved significant policies on the metropolis' united move and decision to achieve its common vision of protecting the health and welfare of Metro Manileños.
Under his helm, Abalos carried the slogan "MMDA At Your Service" as he led the agency to be of service to every Metro Manileño.
As a man of action, Abalos initiated vital projects, such as flood control mitigating measures, traffic reduction initiatives, sanitation and beautification, while ensuring that the metropolis cope with the pandemic.
"The MMDA will always be at your service, living up to the agency's commitment to provide prompt, efficient and quality services for a safe, livable and workable environment for all," said Abalos.
On traffic and transport management, Abalos led the reopening of U-turn slots on EDSA, clearing operations at Balintawak Market, bicycle lane improvements, clearing of ground floor levels of flyovers along EDSA, unveiling of motorcycle emergency laybys, launching cashless payments for traffic violations, and opening of Kalawaan station for Pasig River Ferry Service.
On flood control and sewerage management, he also ensured that pumping stations are operational, launched the MMDA’s solid waste granulator and brick-making facility to reduce waste on waterways, and launched the two waste diversion initiatives such as Mobile Materials Recovery Facility (MMRF) and Community Based Takakura Composting designed to minimize waste towards a greener and healthier metro while promoting segregation and composting in communities.
On urban renewal, Abalos launched the "I Love MM (Metro Manila)," an advocacy envisioned to uplift the spirits of its residents recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to strengthen initiatives on urban renewal that aims to transform the metropolis to be a more livable, greener, and resilient region. During the 'I Love MM' launching on November 13, 2021, National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. awarded the MMDA a plaque of recognition, thru Abalos, for delivering invaluable support to the national government’s interventions to address the pandemic.
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