TWG formed to study bill expanding MMDA powers

MANILA– A House of Representatives’ panel has formed a technical working group (TWG) that will fine-tune two bills seeking to expand the powers and functions of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), particularly the Metro Manila Council (MMC).

According to a statement on Monday, the House committee on Metro Manila development chaired by Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo approved the creation of a TWG that will further study House Bills (HB) 4642 and 5057.

Both bills seek to amend Republic Act (RA) 7924, otherwise known as An Act Creating Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Defining Its Powers And Function, Providing Funds Therefor And Other Purposes.

Under HB 4642 authored by Castelo, one of the proposed additional powers for the MMDA is the review of development permits for subdivision plans for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes and for other major land development projects with metro-wide transport and traffic impacts to ensure they are consistent with MMDA’s development plan and to establish a traffic impact assessment system.

Meanwhile, HB 5057 authored by Marikina City Rep. Bayani Fernando aims to strengthen the MMDA by amending its charter.

According to Fernando, the bill, if approved into law, grants MMDA the power to enact ordinances and resolution which will have the full force and effect of a law among its member local government units (LGUs) upon ratification.

Under HB 5057, the MMDA shall enforce all traffic laws and regulations in Metro Manila through its traffic operation center as well as MMDA ordinances that may be issued relative to its metro-wide services.

The MMDA shall approve metro-wide plans, programs and projects, and issue rules and regulations, resolutions and ordinances deemed necessary for the MMDA to carry out its purposes, the bill added.

The MMC, as provided under the MMDA charter, is the governing board and policy making body of the MMDA composed of mayors of cities and municipalities of Metro Manila and the president of the Metro Manila Vice Mayors League and the president of the Metro Manila Councilors League.

Fernando said in his sponsorship speech that the MMDA could not push forward its projects and metro-wide programs that can address the problems of traffic, flood, garbage disposal, and waste management, among others since it lacks the legal authority to implement ordinances and resolutions.

The collective wisdom of the voting members of the Metro Manila Council composed of 17 elected mayors, the president of the Vice Mayors League and the Councilor Leagues, complemented by representatives from all national government agencies cannot be effectively used in light of the limitations of its power as provided in RA 7924, Fernando said.

Source: Philippines News Agency