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Abolish MMDA? JV Ejercito says it's hard to coordinate '17 kingdoms'

Senate local government committee chairman JV Ejercito on Wednesday opposed the proposed abolition of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

"It might be very difficult because Metro Manila is composed of 16 cities and 1 municipality. Lahat ito may kanya kanyang kaharian," the lawmaker said in an interview.

(All of them have their own "kingdom")

"At this time, it would be difficult to abolish MMDA right away, kasi mahihirapan sa traffic [pa] lang, yung coordination with other--sabi ko nga 17 republics...those are 17 kingdoms. So kinakailangan may mag-coordinate for them," he added.

(It would be difficult, especially for traffic. Coordination among these cities is crucial)

Should charter change push through, Ejercito suggested creating a gubernatorial post for Metro Manila. —VAL, GMA Integrated News

Currently, the MMDA chairman is being appointed by the Philippine president.

Last Monday, Manila Representative Joel Chua called for the abolition of the MMDA, saying it had no authority to implement policies in local government units (LGUs).

Chua said such MMDA operations violated the Local Government Code or were a duplication of the roles of other government agencies.

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
  • Big ticket infrastructure projects in NCR under Transportation, Public Works and Highways, Housing, and Urban Development, and Information and Communications Technology Departments.

Chua said he will file a separate bill on this. 

Tags: MMDA, JV Ejercito