Editorial: The Metro Davao Development Authority
ON March 22, the House of Congress passed House Bill 8930 on the third and final reading creating the Metro Davao Development Authority (MDDA).
When news broke out, there are misconceptions about the MDDA. To some, the creation of MDDA puts Metro Davao under one governing body while some were quickly able to equate it to traffic management.
However, the MDDA, according to HB 8930 is neither a governing body nor simply a traffic management office.
Among the functions of MDDA includes the formulation of plans aligned to the Davao Regional Development Plan (DRDP) and the Philippines Development Plan 2017-2022; Set policies concerning traffic, waste management, and public safety and security; prepare and implement or manage metropolitan-wide programs and projects; review and recommend to the Metropolitan Davao Development Council policies regarding land development; monitor the implementation of metropolitan-wide programs and projects; install and administer a single ticketing system for traffic rules and regulations; and prescribe and collect services and regulatory fees, and impose and collect fines and penalties.
According to the bill, the services of the MDDA will include development planning, transport management, solid waste disposal and management, flood control and sewerage management, urban renewal, zoning, land use planning, and shelter services, health and sanitation, urban protection, and pollution control, and public safety.
In a nutshell, the MDDA is tasked to coordinate and promote socio-economic growth and sustainable development of Metropolitan Davao.
Metro Davao covers the cities of Panabo, Tagum, and Island Garden City of Samal (IGACoS) in Davao del Norte; Digos in Davao del Sur; and highly urbanized City of Davao; and the municipalities of Carmen in Davao del Norte, and Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur as core local government units. Meanwhile, the City of Mati in Davao Oriental, and the municipalities of Maco in Davao de Oro, and Malita in Davao Occidental are its annex LGUs. The bill made it clear that the MDDA’s power and functions will not diminish the autonomy of the LGUs.
The Metropolitan Davao Development Council (MDDC) is the policy-making body of MDDA and approves plans, programs, and projects for Metro Davao.
The MDDA has the opportunity to implement projects and spearhead development across the core and annex LGUs that will allow Davao Region to meet its full potential. In a way, it will allow Metro Davao to plan things properly in the coming years and align projects and programs.
On paper, it is an institution that can bring Metro Davao to new heights. However, the government will have to hire and appoint qualified leaders for the MDDA. Those who are hired for their skills, abilities, and knowledge and not by their connections.