REP. JOEL CHUA: Third District of Manila (Northern Manila Districts of Binondo, Quiapo, San Nicolas, and Santa Cruz) Lawyer and Urban Poor Advocate | Vice-Chair, Committee on Metro Manila Dev’t | Member, Committee on Housing and Urban Dev’t. (DZAR Sonshine Radio photo courtesy)
MANILA — In a privilege speech on Monday (27 February 2023), Manila Third District Rep. Joel R. Chua called for the abolition of the 48-year-old Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Delivered almost entirely in Filipino, the lawmaker said the MMDA should be abolished, and what would remain only is the present council of mayors of the National Capital Region supported by a small secretariat.
He also said dismantling the MMDA would align with the current Marcos administration’s National Government Rightsizing Program.
The congressman said the MMDA has encroached upon the jurisdiction of local government units and national government agencies, violated the Local Government Code, duplicated the roles of national agencies, has become a bloated bureaucracy and wasted billions in public funds from projects not implemented.
He also said the Supreme Court had long settled that the MMDA, which was formed way back on November 5, 1975, 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.
The Manila congressman, who had served as Manila Councilor, said the MMDA has been disrupting the lives of Manila residents through MMDA operations involving demotions of homes, clearing of roads and sidewalks, and traffic management and enforcement.
He asserted that the MMDA’s roles and functions should be farmed out to national government agencies and the LGUs within NCR as follows:
“Development Planning – Ibalik sa National Economic and Development Authority habang ang Council ng NCR Mayors ang tatayong Regional Development Council ng NCR;
Transport and Traffic Management – Ibalik sa Department of Transportation (DOTR) Land Transportation office habang ang awtoridad sa traffic law enforcement ay sa mga national highway tulad ng EDSA, C5, iba pang circumferential roads, at major roads tulad ng A. Bonifacio Drive, Balintawak Interchange, Mindanao Avenue at Commonwealth Avenue dapat nasa poder dapat ng Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group. Pati mga border checkpoints sa paligid ng Metro Manila dapat trabaho ng PNP;
Solid Waste Disposal and Management, Sanitation, Pollution Control at Flood Control – nasa poder dapat ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) dahil mayroon naman itong Environmental Management Bureau at Regional Office para sa NCR;
Sewerage Management at Sanitation dapat nasa MWSS Regulatory Office na siyang iaatang sa Maynilad at Manila Water ang sewerage na talaga namang dapat kasama sa concession agreement;
Urban Renewal, Zoning and Land Use Planning and Shelter Services – lahat ito ay saklaw na dapat ng Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development na mayroon nang maayos na sistema ng koordinasyon sa mga LGU;
Public Health – nararapat lang na ito’y nasa Department of Health at Department of Social Welfare and Development na matagal nang maayos ang koordinasyon sa mga lokal na pamahalaan; at
Public Safety – ito ay saklaw na ng mga LGU ng NCR kung saan ang mga mayor ay mayroong supervision sa lokal na pulisya at mga barangay at mga disaster responders.
Kapag mayroong malakihang infrastructure projects para sa buong Metro Manila o NCR, nariyan naman ang DOTR, DPWH, DHSUD, at DICT.
Maaaring manatiling non-voting members ang mga naturang departamento at ahensya para sa maayos na koordinasyon at konsultasyon.”
Chua also noted how the MMDA bureaucracy has grown from 6,812 in 2011 to 9,767 in 2021 and that its total annual budget of about P10 billion from GAA and local sources is much larger than most budgets of national departments:
DHSUD OSEC P1.09 billion
DOE OSEC P1.32 billion
DOT OSEC P2.48 billion
DOST OSEC P6.67 billion
DTI OSEC P6.68 billion
DILG OSEC P6.83 billion
DICT OSEC P7.19 billion