NINE Cebuano congressmen introduced the Mega Cebu Development Authority (MCDA) toward the end of the 16th Congress, which adjourned this month.
The Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB) is now looking for a senator to sponsor the bill once it reaches the Senate.
Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., (Rafi) chief operations officer Domini Chua said they are eyeing Cebuano Sen. Serge Osmeña III for this.
Rafi facilitates Mega Cebu programs and anchors research, program and organizational development.
“We need one body to address problems in Metro Cebu, like flooding, traffic, pollution, and waste management,” said Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, who chairs MCDCB.
Cebu Rep. Gwen Garcia, one of those who introduced the bill, said she hoped it would be taken up in the next Congress.
When asked if this will exclude towns far from Metro Cebu, Davide said there is a provision for the bill to include other Cebu LGUs.
Chua said this is why they changed the title to Mega Cebu, instead of the former Metro Cebu.
She said that in the updated the master plan, it will be the entire Cebu, including far-flung towns.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will work on updating the masterplan.
Chua said that the National Economic Development Authority (Neda), as the one anchoring the formulation of the master plan, said the request to Japan for updating is with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for approval.
She said that once it will be approved, they will send it to JICA, and the agency will create its terms of reference and look for consultants.
Aside from Osmeña, there will be some new senators coming in, said Chua.
She is hopeful that after the election, some will be sympathetic to Cebu’s cause.
MCDA has similarities with Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), said Chua, except that this one in Cebu has more powers, a wider scope and a longer vision that extends to year 2050.
MCDA is also focused on development areas like transportation and water.
The powers of Mega Cebu include but are not limited to formulation of plans and its integration with Metro Cebu. It will also provide services for local government units (LGUs). These include management of traffic and solid waste disposal.
Section 3 of the proposed MCDA says the program “is anchored on the island-wide or larger provincial and regional context while starting out its on ground engagement and intervention at Metropolitan Cebu level.”
The same section defines Metro Cebu as 13 LGUs, covering the highly urbanized city of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu; the cities of Danao, Talisay, Naga and Carcar; and the towns of Liloan, Consolacion, Compostela, Cordova, Minglanilla and San Fernando.