Wed. May 25th, 2022

Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. has resigned from his post Monday as chair 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,” Abalos said in a press briefing at the MMDA headquarters in Makati City.

Abalos will serve as the national campaign manager of presidential aspirant former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“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 (GM) 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,” Abalos said.

Abalos thanked 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 Danilo Lim who passed away in January 2021.

Since his appointment, Abalos led programs and projects carrying out the mandates of the agency under Republic Act 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. Abalos 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 front-liners such as Philippine Basketball Association officials, cagers, and workers, and those from the entertainment industry.

As an overall chair of the MMC, 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.

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