The Metro Manila Development Authority announced on Thursday the designation of Assistant General Manager for Operation Emerson Carlos as the agency’s officer-in-charge, replacing Francis Tolentino who resigned as chairman.
Carlos will preside over the MMDA until such time President Benigno Aquino III has found a replacement for Tolentino who quit Wednesday after drawing flak for doing nothing to stop a lewd performance during a birthday party in Laguna.
“This is a big responsibility. For the meantime, I will be the OIC until Malacañang appoints a new chairman,” said Carlos.
As assistant general manager for operations, Carlos oversaw key departments and offices in the agency such as the Solid Waste Management, Traffic Management and Discipline, Public Safety, Health and Environmental Protection, and the Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office.
Carlos said that Congress already approved the MMDA’s budget for 2016. He said a big slice of the budget was allocated to the agency’s solid waste and traffic management programs.
“The MMDA’s P2 billion budget for general appropriations for 2016 has already been approved. The priority is the solid waste management and the [traffic] signal upgrading,” said Carlos.
For 2015, the agency was allocated only with P1.9-billion budget, lower by 15 percent from last year’s P2.3-billion budget. Carlos also met with Police Director Gen. Ricardo Marquez about the preparations for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit to be held in November.
“We discussed our contingency plans, community security preparations and the possible public scenario during APEC,” he said.
Carlos said major road construction and rehabilitation in Manila like the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Elevated Expressway project, Skyway Stage 3 and Ayala Bridge will be temporarily stopped during the summit.
The MMDA will designate for APEC delegates two lanes on both northbound and southbound lanes of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue from Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City to SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
The Department of Public Works and Highways also agreed to create special lanes for delegates on the southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard while the northbound will be shared by motorists and public utility vehicles for both directions.
The MMDA will also deploy more than 2,500 personnel to provide security for 21 leaders of different countries participating in the meeting.
The meetings will be the second high-profile global event that the country will be hosting after the World Economic Forum on East Asia last May where the administration of President Benigno Aquino III trumpeted the Philippines as the “next Asian miracle.”