METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Danilo Lim passed away on Wednesday morning after suffering a heart attack about a week after he tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed the news noting that Lim passed away at 8 a.m. at the age of 65.
“MMDA Chair Lim served the Duterte administration with professionalism, competence, and integrity. He would be dearly missed,” Roque said.
In a Viber message to reporters, MMDA Public Affairs Director Sharon Gentalian said the official’s cause of death was a heart attack.
On Dec. 29, Lim bared on a Facebook post that he tested positive for COVID-19 after taking a routine swab test the previous day.
“Lumabas na positive ako sa COVID-19 sa kabila ng palaging pag-iingat at pagsunod nang maigi sa mga health protocols sa lahat ng pagkakataon. Pinapakita lang nito kung gaano katindi ang COVID-19 at lahat ay pwedeng tamaan,” Lim said.
Born Danilo Delapuz Lim on June 2, 1955, he was a brigadier general of the Philippine Army before he joined the Duterte administration as the MMDA chief, replacing acting chair and general manager Thomas Orbos.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued a statement after MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago confirmed Lim’s death in a Viber message to reporters.
“The Palace expresses its deep condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo Lim who died before 8 a.m. at the age of 65,” Roque said.
He added the Palace will remember Lim for the public service he rendered during the Duterte administration.
“May the perpetual light shine upon him, and may his soul, through the mercy of the Almighty, rest in eternal peace,” he added.
In a Facebook post, MMDA’s Edsa traffic chief Edison “Bong” Nebrija bid farewell to the MMDA chair.
“Farewell my brother tonight, farewell,” Nebrija said.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the country lost an esteemed leader with the death of Lim.
“With the passing of General Lim, the country lost an esteemed leader, who valued public service above all else. His vision, which he carried through from his beginnings as a young officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to his later years as a civilian public servant, was to uphold good governance and lead by example,” he added.
Lorenzana said the DND also condoles with the family and loved ones of the late MMDA chief.
“A member of Philippine Military (PMA) Class of 1978, General Lim took the helm of the MMDA with his appointment in 2017 and oversaw the agency’s front-line response to the (coronavirus disease 2019) COVID-19 pandemic for the majority of the year 2020,” he added.
As chairperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, Lorenzana said he is grateful for Lim’s support to their various inter-agency emergency response operations through the years.
“I also convey my sympathies to General Lim’s loved ones and his colleagues at the MMDA. May he rest in peace,” he added.
Last Dec. 29, Lim announced in a Facebook post that he tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) “despite all the health precautions” he observed.
He said he informed his direct contacts for the last week to monitor for symptoms and self-isolate for 14 days.
Lim, a retired military officer, was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as MMDA chair in May 2017.
He was among the former military officers appointed by the President to various posts in the government.
Before he was appointed MMDA chair, he served as deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Customs during the term of President Benigno Aquino III.
In a statement, the MMDA said Lim is survived by his wife Rep. Aloysia Tiongson-Lim and daughter Aika.
Lim served as chairman of MMDA under the Duterte administration, from May 2017 to present.
He initiated efforts in alleviating problems confronting Metro Manila by going back to the basics.
He also focused his efforts in instilling and implementing strict discipline among agency employees.
Under his helm, Lim prioritized the welfare of the employees by ensuring they receive accident insurance and other appropriate benefits.
He also envisioned the MMDA to be one of the most transparent government agencies that the public can trust.