Metro Davao authority pushes through despite pandemic

Subscribe Now July 13, 2020 at 10:25am

THE proposed creation of the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA) is unhampered despite the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio formed a localized-steering body that will manage its implementation.

In a press release issued on Saturday, July 11, Duterte-Carpio, who is the chairman of the committee creating MDDA at the Regional Development Council-Davao Region (RDC-Davao), created the Davao City Coordinating Committee (DCCC).

DCCC is a formed body that will ensure "a single direction towards developing the coastal cities and towns along the Davao Gulf".

The local body will work closely with the Metropolitan Davao Development Coordinating Committee (MDDCC) in seeing the proper implementation of the medium and long-term plans and programs of the city and its land use, consistent with regional and national development objectives and priorities.

"Its functions also include preparation of priority programs and projects, identifying sources of funds, and packaging of projects for funding institutions. It will also ensure the proper monitoring of projects and programs and recommend solutions should there be problems of implementation," the press statement said.

MDDCC was created by the RDC-Davao as a transitory structure for inter-local government unit (LGU) cooperation that serves as a mechanism for coordinated planning, investment programming, project facilitation, and monitoring of the Metro Davao initiatives.

MDDA comprises of Davao City, Tagum City, Panabo City, Island Garden City of Samal, and the Municipality of Carmen, Digos City, and the Municipality of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur.

Each LGU within the Metro Davao needs to form a steering group to coordinate with the MDDCC.

Duterte-Carpio is joined by Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte as co-chairman and members City Administrator Zuleika Lopez, Legal Officer Osmundo Villanueva, Jr., City Planning and Development Coordinator Ivan Cortez, City Engineer’s Office head Engr. Joseph Dominic Felizarta, Interim Architect Office head Clyde Eric Verga, Acting City Environment Chief Marivic Reyes, City Agriculturist chief Leo Brian Leuterio, and City Traffic and Transport Management Office head Dionisio Abude.

The mayor has yet to issue her statement on the matter. However, she revealed the proposed MDDA in early January this year.

Duterte-Carpio said the metropolitan authority will address different sectors including disaster, garbage, traffic, and infrastructure sectors, which are identified as “common sectors”.

She said they are currently in coordination with the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in the initial planning of the MDDA.

The council, the mayor said, will be calling the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) to present the Metropolitan Davao Urban Master Plan, which could be utilized for the creation of the authority.

The masterplan was drafted by urban planner Arch. Felino “Jun” Palafox, which was funded by Minda in 2018, to have visual incorporation of the proposed metropolitan authority.

Palafox, in a previous interview, said the masterplan is a guide to the city in terms of development in infrastructures and land usage. This would also give more opportunities for cities and other areas to socio-economically grow.

Davao City Third District Representative Isidro Ungab, in June 2018, bared the plans of creating the MDDA.

Unlike federalism, Ungab said having a metropolitan area will be an ideal contributory government set-up in providing socio-economic equity, as it is much easier and would not need to undergo several consultations and debates.

“One of PRRD’s (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) main agenda in 2016 is federalism. But I believe that mauubusan na ng oras (time is running out).

The process of amending the constitution is a long process,” the House representative said.

He said Article X, Section 11 states, “The Congress may, by law, create special metropolitan political subdivisions, subject to a plebiscite as set forth in Section 10 hereof.”

Also, “the component cities and municipalities shall retain their basic autonomy and shall be entitled to their own local executive and legislative assemblies. The jurisdiction of the metropolitan authority that will thereby be created shall be limited to basic services requiring coordination.”

Duterte-Carpio, meanwhile, admitted that while a legislative bill must be filed in Congress, she said the process would take time.

The city mayor said they will elevate the proposal to the Office of the President to issue a Presidential Proclamation for its creation.

Meanwhile, she said they hope MDDA will be enacted and implemented in 2022. (RGL)


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