MMDA OIC vows to continue Abalos’ priority projects


Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) officer-in-charge General Manager Romando Artes on Tuesday said he will continue the priority projects, including the Covid-19 vaccination, started by his predecessor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr.

In a Laging Handa briefing, Artes said he discussed the MMDA’s projects and programs with Abalos before the latter resigned to join presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr. as his national campaign manager.

“Sa loob ng mahigit isang taon lamang na panunungkulan niya sa MMDA, itine-[train] po niya po ako, itinuro lahat ng magandang gawain para mas maging maayos ang ahensiya at nailatag naman po niya iyong mga programang dapat gawin (Within his more than one year of service at the MMDA, he trained me and taught me what to do to improve the agency and laid out the programs that need to be accomplished),” Artes said.

Aside from continuing the programs Abalos started, Artes said the MMDA will ensure “steady” Covid-19 vaccination in the National Capital Region (NCR) especially with the launch of the vaccination program for children aged 5 to 11 years old on Monday.

“Tayo naman po ay hindi nagmamadali, inuunti-unti po natin iyong pagbabakuna sa mga bata at iyon po magla-launch pa po tayo ng maraming vaccination sites all over the Philippines para po sa mga bata edad 5 hanggang 11 (We are not in a hurry, we’re slowly vaccinating children and we are going to launch a lot more vaccination sites all over the Philippines for children aged 5 to 11),” Artes said.

To make Covid-19 vaccines even more accessible to the public, he said local government units (LGUs) in the NCR have begun offering inoculation to residents “door-to-door.”

“Kami po ay naglulunsad ng vaccination sites sa mga terminal o mga opisina po ng LTO [Land Transportation Office], LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board] at doon po nga in coordination po with SM Supermalls, magbubukas po tayo ng steady vaccination sites sa iba’t-ibang SM po dito sa kalakhang Maynila (We are launching vaccination sites in terminals or offices of LTO, LTFRB, and with coordination with SM Supermalls, we are opening steady vaccination sites at various SM malls in NCR),” Artes said.

He said Covid-19 cases in NCR continued to decline, with only 1,271 new infections reported based on their most recent data and it is expected to drop to less than 1,000 cases per day before the end of February.

“Ini-expect po natin na soon baka mag-Alert Level 1 po tayo, ang mga alkalde po ng kalakhang Maynila ay handa para po sa pagbubukas muli ng mga iba’t-ibang industriya at sector (We are expecting soon that we’ll be under Alert level 1, NCR mayors are ready to open the various industries and sectors),” Artes said.

Recently, he said the Metro Manila Council (MMC)—composed of the 17 mayors in NCR— has discussed the possibility of requiring booster cards in business establishments but has yet to decide on the matter.

“I don’t want to preempt po, pero nasa table na po ang mga bagay na iyan (but those options are on the table),” Artes said.

Source: Philippines News Agency