Carmelita “Menchie” Aguilar Abalos
Mayor, City of Mandaluyong
For most of her adult life, she is the doting mother/grandmother and supportive wife to then-Mayor Benhur and has tremendous involvement as then-First Lady of Mandaluyong City. She was the Nutrition Action Officer of the city since 1998 up until Mayor Benhur finished his last term of office in June 2016.
At the Nutrition Action Officers Association of the Philippines, she got elected as the first ever President in 2010 and unanimously got re-elected for a second term as President. She also served as the Regional President of the Association of Nutrition Action Officers-NCR from 2012.
Through her unwavering support and stewardship of the City Nutrition Committee, the city achieved the Green Banner Award for three straight years (2010-2012) for its outstanding nutrition program management and implementation, eventually taking home the Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) Award (2013) given by the National Nutrition Council. Due to the considerable and consistent nutrition-related projects for children, the city also has achieved the 1st Year CROWN Maintenance Award in 2014 and the 2nd Year CROWN Maintenance Award the following year (2015) up to achieving the highest award in nutrition, the Nutrition Honor Award (2016).
Likewise, the city was conferred the Presidential Award for the Most Child Friendly City of the Philippines in 2011 by the Council for the Welfare of Children while she headed the Mandaluyong City Local Council for the Protection of Children as Program Director. In 2012, the city became a National Level Finalist and conferred the Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance-Top Performing Local Government Unit in the NCR in 2015. In 2016, the city once again became a top National Level Finalist for the Most Child Friendly City award and was conferred the Seal of Communities of Practice on Child Friendly Local Governance.
She is also very instrumental in the city's achievement of the Guinness World Records for the largest Zumba class in one location in July 2015.
To serve is inherent in her. That is why, together with daughter, Councilor Charisse, she continuously supports the endeavors of the Ciara Marie Foundation which has been a blessing to more than 700 ailing children at the special ward named the Ciara Marie Foundation Sepsis and Infectious Disease Ward in Mandaluyong City Medical Center whose hospital bills, laboratories and medicines have been covered by the foundation, among others.
She also served as President of the Kababaihan Kakaiba ng Mandaluyong, a city-wide organization with around 30,000 women-members from generally all walks of life and in particular, mother-residents who actively promote women empowerment through sustainable livelihood projects and the like. Through her initiative, KKM is also into projects that provide preventive and curative health care for expecting women and their unborn.
Moreover, she still finds time to actively participate in the Girl Scouts of the Philippines as its 2nd Vice President for International Participation.
All told, one will not wonder why upon assumption of office as the Local Chief Executive, she adopted the tagline: Mandaleño . . . Disiplinado. It can be assured indeed that the city and its constituency can see more of her hands-on, discipline-instilling leadership.