Just over a year after becoming the chairman for the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), former Mandaluyong City mayor, Benhur Abalos, has resigned his position effective at the end of business day today, February 7, 2022.
Abalos will then join the team of presidential aspirant, Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos, Jr., as the latter’s national campaign manager.
“I would like to announce that I am resigning as MMDA Chairman. I have submitted my resignation letter. The campaign period is fast approaching, and I would need to devote my time to Senator Bong Bong Marcos’ campaign as his national campaign manager,” said Abalos in a press conference.
Silungan for riders
To a lot of motorcycle riders, the name Benhur Abalos is synonymous with the “anti-riding-in-tandem” ordinance of Mandaluyong, where back-riding is forbidden within the city limits if the riders are both male, with certain exceptions. It was during his tenure as the city’s mayor when the ordinance was first enacted.
The said ordinance has been declared unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals in October of last year.
As with his tenure with the MMDA, a lot of motorcycle riders remember Abalos as the chairman who designated key areas along major thoroughfares as "silungan" or motorcycle lay-by areas where riders can seek temporary shelter during a sudden downpour.
“We understand the plight of motorcycle riders when they have to stop in the middle of the road while waiting for the rain to stop, it’s very risky for them because they might get into a road accident. At least with the emergency lay-by, they can take cover during heavy rains,” said Abalos, during the opening of these motorcycle lay-by areas.
The emergency lay-by has allotted spaces for motorcycles to use – with designated entrance and exit signs. Abalos reminded motorcyclists that the emergency lay-by is only a rain shelter. MMDA personnel will be assigned at the emergency lay-by to prohibit parking in the area.
The MMDA has yet to announce who will replace Abalos as the agency’s Chairman. But given the sudden resignation, a temporary Chairman could be appointed in order to help the MMDA manage its daily operations.