Benjamin S. Abalos
Mayor, City of Mandaluyong
MAYOR BENJAMIN S. ABALOS was born into a humble and poor family in Pangasinan on Sept. 21, 1935. His life then was never easy while growing up in a rural area. His parents put premiums on education as the only passport for them to be away from the agony of poverty.
He never had regrets working as a janitor, factory worker, and caddy at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club before he earned his degree in Law at the Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU).
For the next several years, he served as a Trial Court Judge and made a name from his glorious feat and hailed as an Outstanding Judge of the Philippines for 10 straight years.
He started building the edifice of progress in Mandaluyong when he assumed as Officer-In-Charge of the former small municipality in 1986 and was officially elected as Mayor of Mandaluyong in the local elections of 1988 - the very first local elections under the 1987 Constitution. He was continuously trusted to govern Mandaluyong after having won for the same post in the elections of 1992, 1995, and 1998.
Mandaluyong achieved its cityhood through the passage of Republic Act No. 7675 on February 9, 1994, becoming the 5th city in Metro Manila. The blueprints of the landmark structures were built in the city such as the SM Megamall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Starmall-EDSA, and The Marketplace, which jumpstarted economic vibrancy and sustainable progress in the city. It is in this era when the Marketplace was considered the first build-operate-and-transfer and build-transfer (BOT-BT) project implemented in the Philippines. This project was the first Galing Pook Award conferred to Mandaluyong in 1994 from among the 285 entries submitted that year.
Another trailblazing program that Mayor Ben initiated was the Land for the Landless and Home for the Homeless Program while institutionalizing his belief that every Mandaleño family deserves to have a roof over their head - a place to stay that they call their own.
Mayor Ben has initiated the establishment of the first Office for the Disabled People in Metro Manila in 1996. The office determined and managed the provision of services and benefits for this marginalized sector. The Association of the Disabled in Mandaluyong (Samahan ng mga Maykapansanan sa Mandaluyong) was the first organized group of people with disabilities that is directly linked to the city government.
It was during his incumbency in the 90s when the only Tertiary Public Hospital in Mandaluyong was built (The Mandaluyong City Medical Center) along with the construction of The Mandaluyong Manpower and Youth Development Training Center (now called the Mandaluyong Manpower and Technical-Vocational Training Center) that expanded the coverage of Alternative Learning System and Technology Vocational Courses that gained skills for learners through non-formal training and eventually as a training ground for potential employment and source of income. Likewise, Mandaluyong Collegiate Scholarship started under the administration of Mayor Ben in 1996 which has assisted thousands of students in college and acquired better employment and opportunities after graduation.
With the sense of stability brought about by his dynamic and vibrant leadership, the expansion and relocation of major capital investments gradually shifted towards the former town of Mandaluyong, and soon after, this once sleepy marshy landscape dramatically transformed into one of the most promising business and financial centers in Metro Manila.
In 2001, Mayor Ben was appointed Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), a post he held until the following year before he was again appointed to lead the Commission On Elections in June 2002.
A 10-time Outstanding Judge of the Republic of the Philippines, former Chairman of MMDA and COMELEC, and now, the City Mayor of Mandaluyong BENJAMIN "BEN" S. ABALOS.
"Katulad ng tiwalang ipinagkaloob sa akin noong mga nagdaang dekada, patuloy na iingatan at mananatiling lumalagablab sa aking puso ang pagmamahal sa Mandaluyong."