2 MMDA officials to seek public office in 2022 polls

Two executives of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Friday announced their resignation and their intention to run for congressional posts in the 2022 elections.

In an online conference, MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo “Jojo” Garcia said he is planning to seek office as a representative of San Mateo, Rizal, and will file his certificate of candidacy on October 5.

“I will resign from my post as MMDA general manager effective October 4 as I intend to run as the first lawmaker of the third district of Rizal, in San Mateo,” Garcia said in Filipino.

He noted that his experience in law enforcement as one of the executives of the MMDA will serve him as a lawmaker.

He was appointed as MMDA general manager in April 2018 and was previously the officer-in-charge general manager of the MMDA in February of the same year.

In a press release, MMDA Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago has also announced her resignation effective Friday and her intention to run as representative for the Malasakit Movement Partylist.

“I will run as a Representative for the Malasakit Movement Partylist. Under my banner, I will work for standard benefits of Barangay Representatives, Kagawads, Barangay Tanod Frontliners and Barangay Health Workers,” Pialago said.

Amongst her platform, she said, is to push for the standard benefits of barangay representatives, kagawads, barangay tanods, and barangay health workers.

“We will also work to give better hazard benefits for medical workers. It is also important to allot a bigger fund to the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit and not have it concentrated in the Epidemiology Bureau,” Pialago said.

She started in the Duterte administration as a media relations officer at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under then-Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno.

On Sept. 9, 2016, she was appointed as the MMDA spokesperson and was promoted to the rank of Assistant Secretary and served three MMDA chairpersons — Oscar Orbos, Danilo Lim, and Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr.

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