Solon calls for abolition of MMDA

Solon calls for abolition of MMDA

MANILA – A lawmaker on Monday called for the abolition of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in line with the Marcos administration’s move to rightsize the government bureaucracy.

In a privilege speech delivered in plenary, Manila Rep. Joel Chua said the MMDA should be abolished and what would remain only is a council of mayors of the National Capital Region (NCR) supported by a small secretariat.

Chua, vice-chair of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, argued that the MMDA has encroached upon the jurisdiction of local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies, violated the Local Government Code, duplicated the roles of national agencies, and wasted billions in public funds from projects not implemented.

“Nais nating makatipid sa pondo ng bayan, magamit ang mga pondo sa wastong paraan, at magawa nang tama ang mga proyekto at programa para sa National Capital Region (We want to save public money and use it judiciously, as well as successfully implement programs and projects for NCR),” Chua said.

Chua noted that the MMDA has become a bloated bureaucracy growing from 6,812 in 2011 to 9,767 in 2021 with a total annual budget of about PHP10 billion from the General Appropriations Act and local sources, which is much larger than most budgets of national departments.

He also said the Supreme Court had long settled that MMDA has no legislative power, nor police power.

Chua said metro-wide concerns, issues and situations can be addressed by a council of NCR mayors, who can have some of their decisions ratified by the legislative councils in NCR to have legislative character and effect.

“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 (It is clear under Republic Act 7924, which is the legal basis of MMDA, that coordination is the only role of MMDA and that true power resides in the Metro Manila Council — composed of elected mayors from the LGUs of NCR),” Chua said.

He said the MMDA has been disrupting the lives of Manila residents through its operations involving demolitions of homes, clearing of roads and sidewalks and traffic management and enforcement.

“Tama lang na wakasan na sa lalong madaling panahon ang panggugulo ng MMDA sa mga pamahalaang lokal ng NCR (It is time to put an end to MMDA’s disruption that affects LGUs’ authority in NCR),” he said. (PNA)

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