QC backs measures to give more teeth to MMDA

MANILA-- The 36-man Quezon City Council has declared its full support to two proposed measures in Congress to expand the powers and functions of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

District 1 Councilor Peter Anthony "Onyx" Crisologo said Quezon City, along with the other 15 cities and one municipality in the National Capital Region, backs the MMDA for more teeth to formulate and implement uniform policies, guidelines, and programs and projects.

"For example, there is Ordinance No. 550 in Mandaluyong City allowing only spouses, parents and siblings to be with motorcycle riders. On the other hand, Quezon City has its own, too, regulating child back riders on motor bikes. Both have different features," he told reporters.

According to Crisologo, District 2 Councilor Carolyn Cunanan of Caloocan City, Metro Manila Councilors League (MMCL) president, tasked him to represent her and take part at the recent meeting of a technical working group (TWG) created by Quezon City's District 2 Councilor Winston Castelo, House committee on Metro Manila development chairman.

The meeting was to discuss and extensively study the details of House Bill 4642 and HB 5057, authored by Castelo and Marikina City's District 1 Rep. Bayani Fernando, former MMDA chairman, respectively.

Crisologo is one of the board of directors of the MMCL.

Under the two proposed measures, the Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of 17 metro mayors, MMDA's policy-making body, shall ensure that the policies, guidelines, and programs and projects of the 17 localities are consistent with one another and with the MMDA.

"We welcome both bills aimed to come up with a clear-cut role of the MMDA and that of the local government unit (LGU)," he stressed.

The TWG is scrutinizing thoroughly the provisions of HB 4642 to amend Republic Act 7924 that created the MMDA, and give the agency the powers and functions to review development permits with metro-wide transport and traffic impacts, undertake the delivery of basic services in coordination with and authority of the local government, and ensure all the 17 concerned LGUs are well-informed of the MMC's approved ordinances with penal sanctions through the publication in a daily newspaper of general circulation.

As far as HB Bill 5057 is concerned, it is also aimed to strengthen the MMDA charter and amend its charter.

Under the proposal, the MMDA may deputize personnel from the Philippine National Police, local traffic bureaus, duly licensed security guards or any member from a non-government organization to enforce all traffic laws and regulations metro-wide, promulgate rules and regulations, set policies and standards, and enact ordinances for metro-wide application.

"The beauty of both proposals is that their issues are not confined to traffic concerns alone. Both bills would address other important issues, such problems on waste management and disposal and floods," he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency