The Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA) is now at its last stage of enactment waiting to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte into law.
In a recent text message to SunStar Davao, Davao City Third District Representative Isidro Ungab said that Senate/House Bill (HB) 8930, establishing MDDA, was already transmitted to the President.
The lawmaker declined to provide further details, saying he hopes that the MDDA bill will be signed into law before Duterte steps down from the presidency by the end of June 2022.
House Bill 8930 was passed by the House of Representatives on March 25, 2021. The upper house version, Senate 2157 was approved on third and final reading in June of last year year.
During the bicameral meeting, the Senate amendments on House Bill (HB) No. 8930 was accepted by Congress last January 31, and both houses agreed to print the final revision of the bill for President’s approval.
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go assured his fellow Davaoeños that the proposed Metropolitan Davao Development Authority will improve the coordination among the local government units of Davao City and of nearby areas, resulting in better delivery of public services and integrated development planning, among others.
Go, who authored and co-sponsored a measure which establishes the MDDA, also expressed optimism that President Rodrigo Duterte will soon sign the measure.
“I filed Senate Bill No. 2157. Ito pong Metro Davao Development Authority, suportado po ito ng mga kasamahan ko sa Senado. Ipinasa namin at inaasahan po namin na dumating na po ito sa mesa ng Pangulo and hopefully sana po maihabol sa March 21,” said Go.
The proposed MDDA shall have jurisdiction over Davao City and the nearby cities of Panabo, Tagum, and the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte; the City of Digos in Davao del Sur; and the City of Mati in Davao Oriental. It shall also cover the municipalities of Sta. Cruz, Hagonoy, Padada, Malalag and Sulop in Davao del Sur; Carmen in Davao del Norte; Maco in Davao de Oro; and Malita and Sta. Maria in Davao Occidental.
The governing board and policy-making body of the proposed authority shall be the Metropolitan Davao Development Council, which shall be composed of the Chairperson of the Regional Development Council-Region XI, the governors of the five provinces, six city mayors, and nine municipal mayors.
The MDDA will provide services in the Davao region including development planning, transport management, solid waste disposal and management, urban zoning, land use planning, shelter services, health and sanitation, as well as public safety.
It is also tasked to consult, coordinate, and work closely with the local government units, the Regional Development Council of Region XI, national government agencies, people’s organizations, non-government organizations, and the private sector operating in Metropolitan Davao.
In coordination with the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Finance, the MDDA can also interface with foreign assistance agencies to obtain financing support, grants and donations in support of its programs and projects.
Since Davao region is one of the leading centers of development in the country, Go said that the MDDA is envisioned to serve as a gateway to extend the development to other regions in Mindanao.
“Dahil sa mabilis na paglago ng ekonomiya ng Davao City at karatig-LGUs nito, panahon na po upang magkaroon doon ng isang sentralisadong ahensya na siyang magbibigay ng iisang direksyon at magsisilbing gabay sa urban planning ng mga lugar na ito,” Go said in a previous interview.
“Kaya naman, muli akong nagpapasalamat sa aking kapwa mambabatas sa pagsuporta sa panukalang ito,” he added.
Congressman Ungab, is principal author and sponsor at the Lower House, of House Bill 8930 creating the Authority. (With contributions from Sunstar Davao).