A Manila lawmaker on Monday called for the abolition of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), saying the MMDA had no authority to implement policies in local government units (LGUs).
Manila Representative Joel Chua, in a privilege speech, said the MMDA should be abolished since it encroached on the jurisdiction of local government units and national government agencies by conducting home demolitions, clearing roads and sidewalks, as well as by managing and enforcing traffic rules without coordinating with local government officials.
Chua said such MMDA operations violated the Local Government Code or were a duplication of the roles of other government agencies.
“Makailang beses nang pinagtibay ng Korte Suprema na ang MMDA ay walang kapangyarihang pang-lehislatura, walang police power, at lalong walang kapangyarihang saklawan ang poder ng mga mayor at barangay kapitan sa NCR dahil mas matimbang ang mga probisyon ng Saligang Batas tungkol sa mga pamahalaang lokal at mga probisyon ng Local Government Code of 1991,” Chua said.
(The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that MMDA has no legislative power, no police power, and especially no power to exercise jurisdiction over LGU affairs under the mayor and barangay captains, and these are also provided under the Constitution and the Local Government Code of 1991.)
“Malinaw sa Republic Act 7924, ang batayang batas ng MMDA, na koordinasyon lamang ang papel ng MMDA at nagmumula ang tunay na kapangyarihan ng MMDA sa Metro Manila Council na binubuo ng mga halal na mga alkalde mula sa mga LGU sa NCR,” Chua added.
(The law establishing the MMDA is clear: its function is for coordination, and its authority stems from the Metro Manila council composed of elected NCR mayors.)
As it was, Chua said metro-wide concerns, issues, and situations could be addressed by a council of NCR mayors or the Metro Manila Council, and that other MMDA roles and functions could be delegated to the following government agencies:
- development planning under the National Economic and Development Authority,
- transport and traffic management under the Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Office,
- national highways such as EDSA, C5, other circumferential roads, and major roads like A. Bonifacio Drive, Balintawak Interchange, Mindanao Avenue, and Commonwealth Avenue under the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (including border checkpoints),
- solid waste disposal and management, sanitation, pollution control and flood control under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
- sewerage management and sanitation under the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, which will then task Maynilad and Manila Water to provide sewerage to their clients as they should under the concession agreements,
- urban renewal, zoning, and land use planning and shelter services under the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development
- public health under the Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development
- public safety under the NCR LGUs, and
- big ticket infrastructure projects in NCR under Transportation, Public Works and Highways, Housing, and Urban Development, and Information and Communications Technology Departments.
“Totoo ngang kailangan ng Metro Manila ng isang uniform ticketing system ng mga batas trapiko o Traffic Code. Ngunit ang mga regulasyong ito para sa at nakakaapekto sa buong Metro Manila ay dapat magmula lamang sa mga pinagtibay na desisyon ng Metro Manila Council at hindi basta kautusan na diskarte lang ng MMDA General Manager, Assistant General Manager o sino pa mang hindi halal na opisyal ng MMDA,” Chua said.
(While it is true that Metro Manila needs a uniform ticketing system or Traffic Code, this regulation should come from the Metro Manila Council and not from the MMDA or any other MMDA official.)
“Hindi maaaring magkasing-kapangyarihan ng Metro Manila Council ang General Manager. Mas lalong hindi di pwedeng mas makapangyarihan pa ang appointed MMDA officials kaysa sa mga elected City Mayors,” Chua added.
(The MMDA General Manager cannot have the same powers as the Metro Manila Council, and appointed MMDA officials cannot be more powerful than elected mayors.)
Additionally, Chua said his proposal was in line with the Rightsizing Bill, one of the priority legislations of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“Iyan po a magiging nilalaman ang isang panukalang batas na ihahain ko sa lalong madaling panahon.Nawa’y suportahan ninyo ang panukalang ito sapagkat ang pagbuwag sa MMDA ay makakabuti para sa Metro Manila at sa buong bansa,” the solon explained.
(I will file a separate bill on this as soon as possible and I am counting on your support since this will benefit the country.) — DVM, GMA Integrated News