Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr.
City of Mandaluyong Mayor
Born on July 19, 1962, Benjamin De Castro Abalos, Jr. or “Benhur”, as he is more popularly known, is the second of five children of the former Comelec Chairman and Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin S. Abalos and Corazon de Castro. He is married to Carmelita Aguilar, with five children namely : twins Charisse Marie and Ciara Marie (deceased), Benjamin III, Charlene Marie and Maria Corazon.
Benhur finished his primary and secondary schooling in 1975 and 1979 respectively, at the Don Bosco Technical College.
He completed his Bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science at the De La Salle University in 1982, and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1987, graduating within the upper third bracket of his class. After passing the bar that same year, Benhur pursued his career as a lawyer and eventually put up his own law firm.
He was active in student affairs at the Ateneo where he served for two terms as a Student Council Representative. As an activist in the anti-Marcos youth movement (a movement of student leaders in Metro Manila during the 80’s), he was one of the pioneers who organized the student front in the EDSA Revolution of 1986.
Benhur first served the government when he was appointed commissioner of the city’s People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) from 1991 to 1994. During his term, Mandaluyong was named Most Outstanding PLEB by the National Police Commission.
He ran for public office in 1995 and became the No. 1 City Councilor of Mandaluyong. Right after his stint in the City Council, Benhur was elected as Mayor of Mandaluyong in 1998. Under his exemplary leadership, the City started to gain greater achievements.
Among Benhur’s most distinguished awards and recognitions are the following:
||Most Outstanding City Mayor|
Local Government Leadership Award
Senate of the Philippines (LGLA), October 13, 2003
|Award given by Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimintel, Jr, DILG Sec. Jose D. Lina, Jr. and Senate Pres. Franklin M. Drilon, with the Senate of the Phils., DILG, Center For Governance-Development Academy of the Phils., University of the Phils., Dela Salle Univ., Ateneo De Manila Univ., San Carlos Univ. and the Kalayaan College.|
||Three Time Most Outstanding City Mayor|
and Public Servant (1999, 2001, & 2003)
|In recognition of his innovative leadership, pioneering programs and sterling record in public service
Award given by the National Consumers Union.|
||1998 Outstanding Public Servant Awardee|
In recognition of his endearing service to the people of Mandaluyong
|Award given by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Heroes Hall, Malaca�ang Palace, May 29, 2999.|
||1998 Apolinario Mabini Awardee|
Local Government of the Year with the best programs and projects for disabled persons
|Awarded by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Heroes Hall, Malacanang. April 16,1998|
Mayor Asia Pacific Environmental Summit (MAPES)
|Award given by Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris and Dr. Karl Hausker, chair and co-chair respectively of the Mayors Asia-Pacific Environmental Summit (MAPES), Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu last September 23-24, 2003|
||2000 Special Awardee - Campaign against Illegal Drugs|
|Given by the International Narcotic
Enforcement Association in Phoenix, Arizona,
Among the most distinguished awards and recognitions received by the City of Mandaluyong under Benhur's leadership are the following:
||Mandaluyong City: As the New Tiger City of Metro Manila|
2nd Most Vibrant City Economy in the Philippines
|Awarded by the Asia Institute of Management Washington Sycip Policy Center and by then DTI Secretary Mar Roxas, New World Hotel, April 10, 2002|
||Mandaluyong as the City with the Fastest System In Terms of Registering Property|
|Ranked No. 1 in terms of registering property among the 21 cities in the Philippines cited by the World Bank-international Finance Corporation “Doing Business in the Philippines” 2008 report|
||Mandaluyong as the No. 1 City|
In Terms of Quality of Life
|Ranked No. 1 in terms of “Quality of Life” among the 90 best performing cities in the country cited by the Asian institute of Management (AIM) “Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking” project 2007|
||2nd Most Child Friendly City|
|Ranked Second in the 2009 Presidential Awards for the Most Child Friendly City in the National Capital Region cited by the Regional Committee for the Welfare of Children, Department of Social Welfare and Development.|
||1st Runner-up in Nutrition Program|
|Mandaluyong City is the 2008 1st Runner-Up Outstanding City in NCR in Nutrition Program Implementation and Management awarded by the National Nutrition Committee. Mandaluyong also bagged Best in Barangay Nutrition Program.|
||World Bank Awardee|
|Mandaluyong City as the 2008 Panibagong Paraan Awardee for its innovative PROJECT TEACH (Therapy, Education, Assimilation for Children with Handicap). Given by the World Bank, DILG, Local Government Academy and the Australian Agency of International Development/ Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (AUSaid-PACAP)|
Benhur has been the city’s Chief Executive from 1998-2001, 2001 to 2004, 2007 to present. He served as the Lone Representative of Mandaluyong to the Philippine Congress from 2004-2007.
During his entire congressional stint, Benhur has impressively delivered and authored a total of 25 legislations and co-authored 54 House Bills all geared to champion the welfare of the underprivileged.
He pursued the sponsorship of the biggest budget of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in its entire history. Most significantly, Benhur principally authored Republic Act No.9397- the Amended Urban Development Housing Act of 1992 or popularly known as "Abalos Law".
Although a neophyte in the House of Representatives, Benhur was cited as one of the 30 Most Outstanding Congressmen of the 13th Congress because of his impressive track record and vital contributions in the legislative branch of the government.
Under his stint as City Mayor, Benhur is widely admired for turning Mandaluyong as the "Tiger City of the Philippines".
No less than the World Bank has rated Mandaluyong as the Most Business-Friendly City in the Philippines in terms of Registering Property in its recent Doing Business Report. While the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center conferred Mandaluyong as "Best in Quality of Life" in its latest city competitiveness study.
His sterling achievements were never left unnoticed even by his colleagues, as Benhur was unanimously voted President of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), an organization composed of 122 city mayors in the country.
For the first time in the history of Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP), a mayor was unanimously voted as President of the organization - a position traditionally held by a Governor.
ULAP is the umbrella organization of more than 45,000 elected local officials in the whole country comprising the League of Provinces, League of Cities, League of Municipalities, Vice Governors League, Vice Mayors League, Philippine Councilors League, Provincial Board Members League, Liga ng mga Barangay, National Movement of Young Legislators, Lady Legislators League and the Pambansang Pederasyon ng Sangguniang Kabataan.