The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) under chairman Francis Tolentino has shown that efficient and effective leadership can bring people together to a common cause, such as public safety and disaster risk reduction.
The MMDA-led metro-wide earthquake drills last week is an example of the agency’s ability to organize and mobilize people to cooperate and help one another.
I don’t think anyone would see such undertaking as insignificant and contrived, as we all realize that the specter of The Big One hitting the National Capital Region (NCR) is for real.
There’s no way we can predict when a major earthquake is coming but preparation and readiness could drastically mitigate potentially massive loss to life and property.
Tolentino has consistently done his job well for most part of his tenure since 2010.
Appointing this world-class manager and environmentalist is hands-down one of the few exceptional and redeeming acts of President Noynoy.
Tolentino has transformed the corruption-ridden agency under the Office of the President into a respectable entity by instilling discipline and professionalism.
In cooperation with officials of Metro’s 16 cities and one municipality, Tolentino has indefatigably found ways to deliver the basic services to the public. He has, in fact, accomplished more than the alienated local government of Secretary Mar Roxas.
In 2013, the MMDA chairman launched the Southwest Integrated Provincial Transport Terminal (SWIPTT).
Also in 2013, Tolentino signed Metro Manila Outdoor Media Magna Carta along with various advertising groups, setting the terms for regulating outdoor advertisements.
To help alleviate the traffic situation in Metro Manila, he revived the Pasig River Ferry System in April 2014, in coordination with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.
Gov walks the talk
Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez has drawn compliments recently for his efforts to deliver on his “promises” since replacing ousted governor ER Ejercito.
At once, the youthful governor squarely dealt with Laguna’s huge public debt.
After getting flak from pro-ER residents, Hernandez has slowly but surely made good his promises to have more classrooms built by the Department of Education and have unfinished farm-to-market roads completed by Department of Public Works and Highways.
Hernandez has also ordered a crackdown on vices, such as illegal gambling and prostitution in some parts of the province.
I say, keep walking the talk, Gov!
Wang bo deported soon
Immigration Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison disclosed that final arrangements are being made with the Chinese Embassy for the deportation of a fugitive, Wang Bo, who has been held since February.
Mison said Wang was granted due process with respect to complying with his legal rights under the Philippine immigration laws.
The BI official expressed confidence that the controversy over contradicting opinions between him and the two associate commissioners will be straightened out as soon as Justice Secretary Leila de Lima orders Wang’s expulsion.
The commissioner also emphasized that Wang remained in custody since he was intercepted by BI agents upon his arrival at the NAIA on February 5 upon discovery that he is a fugitive from mainland China.
“It should be noted that Mr. Wang was never actually released ever since our alert immigration officers apprehended him,” Mison said in an interview during my teleradyo program last Friday.
Immediately, Wang’s name was included in the BI blacklist, detained at the BI facility in Taguig City and subjected to deportation proceedings for “being undesirable.”
While this column reported accurately on Wang’s case, Mison said the fugitive’s “delayed” deportation gave rise to other speculative reports of fund-raising to bribe congressmen to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
On March 5, a Summary of Deportation Order was issued by the Immigration Board with Commissioner Mison, as chairman, along with associate commissioners Abdullah Mangotara and Gilbert Repizo.
The Chinese reportedly engaged in illegal “transnational network gambling” in mainland China with satellite connection in Manila with a firm called “Skybet.”
Wang denied the allegations and presented a Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) work visa with two-year validity (from May 4, 2013 to May 4, 2015) through an employer called ELC Technology Consulting Co. Inc.
Wang is reported to be among top 10 most-wanted fugitives in China in connection with US$100 million embezzlement.
Due to “lack of authenticated documentary evidence” on his alleged criminal case in China, Mison was out-voted by Mangotara and Repizo to grant Wang’s motion for reconsideration and decided to “set aside” his deportation order.
But Mison coordinated with Chinese Police Attaché Fu who personally submitted a copy of the arrest warrant against Wang and an official letter signifying that his passport has been officially revoked.
The commissioner ordered Wang’s summary deportation order reinstated, which De Lima upheld.