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Ria Atayde as new MMDA spokesperson?: 'Yes there was an offer'

By Camille Santiago Published May 20, 2023 1:12 pm

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairperson Romando Artes said he has recommended actress Ria Atayde as the new spokesperson for the government agency.

In a press conference, Artes said that he has "personally recruited" the Kapamilya star for the position—previously held by beauty queen Celine Pialago—as he believes Atayde has shown to be an "empowered woman" after how she handled criticisms for her calendar girl stint for an liquor brand.

“Her response to the bashing she received when she was hired as a model [for] a brand is very positive and confident,” said Artes.

“And I can say that, in a way, she’s an empowered woman which we need because the job of a spokesperson is to counter criticisms against the agency, whether or not it is true,” he added.

He also noted that the communication arts graduate is qualified for the role as she could help with disseminating information, given her work experience and celebrity status.

Artes said the 31-year-old actress "graciously agreed" and so he submitted her application and endorsement to the Malacañang Palace.

Confirming the news to several media outlets, the family's publicist, Chuck Gomez, said: “Right now, Ria is in Cannes, France, to showcase the action-thriller Topakk,” Gomez said. "Regarding the Ria Atayde being the MMDA Spokesperson, yes there was an offer. This is all we can say for now about this matter."

Atayde is the CEO of Nathan Studios Inc., the producer of the films Cattleya Killer and Topakk, which stars her brother Arjo Atayde.

Recently, she clapped back at haters who body-shamed her for being "not sexy enough" to be a calendar girl.

“I’ve had conversations [about struggling to feel sexy] with people from the industry and outside of it. I think it’s normal,” she said. “Given how society is and how our industry works, it can be ruthless when it comes to physical attributes. And what I always tell people is at the end of the day, it should be the opinions of people that matter to you which should matter.”

Atayde then revealed that she is suffering from hyperthyroidism and has no gallblader, thus losing weight has become a struggle.

“I have hypothyroidism. I have no gallbladder. Losing weight is a lot harder for me than it is for other people. So, go ahead. Call me fat. Anong magagawa niyo? I’m sick with stuff I can’t fix. So, sino ka diyan,” she said.