Senate panel approves creation of Metropolitan Davao Development Authority

Senate panel approves creation of Metropolitan Davao Development Authority

Sen. Francis Tolentino

By Ernie Reyes

The Senate Committee on Local Government, chaired by Senator Francis
“Tol” Tolentino, has approved the creation of the Metropolitan Davao
Development Authority (MDDA) as part of efforts to spur economic
growth and hasten the delivery of services in the area.

Tolentino on Thursday announced during the committee hearing the
approval of various measures, seeking to create the MDDA, which will
be composed of Davao City and certain cities and municipalities from
the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao
de Oro, and Davao Occidental.

Senate Bill Nos. 2116, 2153, and 2157 were filed by Senators Imee
Marcos, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, and Christopher “Bong” Go,
respectively, while the counterpart Bill in the lower house House Bill
No. 8930 was filed by Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab.

During the committee hearing on Thursday, Davao City Mayor Sara
Duterte expressed support for the creation of the MDDA, but said she
would consult the regional development council on some proposed
matters, such as the power to grant franchise to public utility
vehicles operating within MDDA and the election of MDDA chairman.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) also backed the
creation of the MDDA, as the move is consistent with the national and
regional development plans of the government.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), through
Regional Director Alex Roldan, also supported the creation of the
MDDA, adding that DILG is willing to restructure its offices in the
area if needed.

Roldan added that MDDA will also be of great help when it comes to
coordination with different local government units.

Undersecretary RJ Echiverri of the DILG also lauded the efforts being
done to create the MDDA, saying it would help the region keep pace
with the development in Metro Manila.

Senator Dela Rosa, for his part, pushed for the inclusion of
municipalities of Padada, Hagonoy, Sta. Maria, and Malalag, Davao del
Sur in the MDDA. On this note, Mayor Duterte said that Davao City
interposes no objection to the inclusion of these municipalities.

LGU officials of the said municipalities are thankful to the Senate
Committee on Local Government as this would help stimulate economic
growth in their localities. (AI/MTVN)

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