I know what many of you are thinking, so I'll stop you right there. This is not just another pretty face. This here is Julia Nebrija, an urban specialist with a degree from the City College of New York and The George Washington University, Washington DC. She is an avid bike commuter (she doesn't own a car) that uses her foldable bike and the Pasig River ferry to get around Metro Manila everyday, and has been been encouraging others to do the same as part of her advocacy for inclusive mobility for as long as I can remember. Basically, she walks the talk. And has been for years.
But Juila now faces her toughest challenge yet as she joins the MMDA as their new assistant GM for operations starting today.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Julia before and it is hard to come by a more passionate person when it comes to inclusive mobility––which is best described up by the Ateneo de Manila using the following points:
A transport system that works for the poor and the vulnerable.
A walkable, bikeable, acccessible city.
Moving people, not vehicles.
Mobility with safety and civility.
Clean air, clean streets, clean vehicles, and clean facilities.
Planning and communicating better and travelling less.
Sharing information to increase connectivity and accessibility.
Making our neighborhoods more accessible to the rest of the city.
Changing mindsets and behaviors – the authorities’ as well as ours.
Mobility of all, for all, by all.
Julia will be reporting directly to the newly appointed MMDA General Manager, Thomas Orbos, who takes over from the very popular and dynamic chairman Atty Emerson Carlos who is widely credited for leaving the agency with a far more appealing and approachable personality than it has ever had. It will be sad to see him go, but don't worry mr. Chariman, that winning personality you created now has a matching face.
We wish you and your successors the best of luck as we all strive to make the city one we can all be proud of.