By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has sought the approval of his proposal to create the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA).
Dela Rosa batted for the passage of his Senate Bill No. 2153 (SBN 2153), entitled “An Act Creating the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority, Defining its Powers and Functions, and Providing Funds Therefor.”
“The objective of this bill was affirmed in the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, which declared that the institutionalization of the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA) will ‘strengthen the coordination among the component cities and municipalities in the planning, implementation and monitoring of priority projects. Hence, the early passage of this bill is earnestly sought,’” he said.
During the committee hearing of the bill, Dela Rosa suggested the inclusion of the municipalities of Hagonoy, Padada, Malalag, and Sta. Maria of Davao Occidental in the jurisdiction of the MDDA, together with Davao City; the cities of Panabo, Tagum, and the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) in Davao del Norte; Digos City in Davao del Sur; Mati City in Davao Oriental; and the municipalities of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur, Carmen in Davao del Norte, Maco in Davao de Oro, and Malita in Davao Occidental; “and such other cities and municipalities as shall be created in the future within these LGUs as provided by law.”
The MDDA shall be mandated to formulate plans aligned to the Davao Region Development Plan and Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022; and set and implement policies on transport management, solid waste disposal, urban renewal, zoning and land use planning, shelter service, health and sanitation, urban protection, pollution control, public safety, and other metropolitan-wide programs and projects.
The Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 stated that metropolitan centers provide higher forms of economic services and facilities, including innovation and advanced services, culture and tourism, education and research, transportation and trade, and manufacturing and technology development.
Currently, the three major metropolitan centers in the Philippines are Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
Metro Davao, composed of Davao City and encompasses the nearby provinces of Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, and Davao Occidental, is considered as Mindanao’s “major international gateway and the center of commerce and education.”
“With the continuing economic growth and expansion of local governments within Metro Davao, an institutionalized metropolitan level management is needed to harness its full economic potential and sustained development,” the Mindanaoan Senator said. (AI/MTVN)