PNP Chief Gen. Eleazar, MMDA Chair Abalos: Best public servants
In these uncertain COVID-19 times, two government officers stand out. They are Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Benhur Abalos Jr. who both roam the streets, listening to the people and local government unit leaders to ensure law and order. Both are tireless, relentlessly solving problems everywhere in the unholiest hours and seemingly unreachable locations.
Eleazar, for instance, made surprise inspections in Regions 1,2, 3, 5, 7, 8, BARMM, continuously checking police responsiveness to the citizenry. People see him commanding police checkpoints in Metro Manila and responding to “superspreader” alarms in Las Piñas, Araneta Center and other areas.
It is rare that the new PNP chief answers all media interviews, radio-tv-online just to keep the people updated the whole day, 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. His work ethic then as QCPD chief and up to now as head of the PNP. He is quick to act in correcting a ruling on non-APORs initially prohibited to fetch their employers under ECQ. With immediate response from his superior, DILG Chief Eduardo Año, the said non-APORs were allowed with conditions.
Eleazar introduced innovations to cleanse the PNP of scalawags and misfits with the QR code system emphasizing faceless and nameless recruitment of police applicants.
“E-Sumbong”, where citizens can report errant cops directly to him, ensures progress reports for complainants. Eleazar has also partnered with civil society groups for transparency (e.g. bodycams and others) in all police operations. To extol good, exemplary cops, he launched the “Pulis Magiting” awards to encourage all policeman to be proud of their work.
Indeed, a super tough act to follow. But to most Filipinos, Major General Guillermo Eleazar is definitely the “pinakamasipag” (most industrious) leader the PNP ever had.
MMDA Chair Benhur Abalos Jr. is another “everywhere government official” in Metro Manila.
Since his January appointment, he proved his public service mantra of ‘GAWA, HINDI SALITA” (Work, not Words) which began during his days as Mandaluyong mayor. Now, he is deeply involved in mitigating the effects of the pandemic, coordinating effectively with the “independent republics” in the powerful Metro Manila Council, whether about vaccine supply, lockdown policies or “ayuda” from IATF, DOH, DILG or DSWD.
It is quite beautiful today to witness all 17 Metro Manila mayors speaking and deciding as one organization with MMDA, despite their diverse backgrounds and political interests. A harsh impossibility with past egoistic Metro Manila leaders.
Edsa is his priority, starting with the numerous MMDA traffic enforcers during peak hours, ensuring integrity of the dedicated bus lanes, removing obstructions under flyovers, installing signal lights on U-turns, inaugurating bike lanes and even providing shelter to motorcyclists during heavy downpour.
He personally visited major “flood pumping stations” in the Camanava and Marikina areas and works seamlessly with DPWH flood control teams especially during monsoon rains. Abalos is highly sensitive to floods because of the perennially neck-deep Maysilo Circle in his city, which is now vastly improved.
Unknown to many, Abalos also focused on effective and efficient “solid waste management” to ensure that trash problems will not return in all 17 cities. He launched the community-based “Takakura Composting” to minimize solid waste in Metro Manila’s waterways.
People see Abalos, morning til evening, all over radio, TV and online expounding transparency and quick action on public complaints. His rising popularity and “real action man” image have prompted politicians and pollsters to include his name in their senatorial lineups next year.
When I asked for comment, he declared: “No, I will not run.”