Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Asec. Celine Pialago welcomed on Monday, Feb.22 the passage of a House measure that could be a game-changer for the agency in terms of fulfilling its mandate.
“Thank you very much to the House Committee on Metro Manila Development chaired by Manila Rep. Manny Lopez for passing this timely bill,” Pialago said, referring to House Bill (HB) No. 8770.
The bill, titled “an Act strengthening the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, granting it the power to adopt and enforce ordinances for Metro Manila,” hurdled the Lopez panel last Feb. 17.
“That’s definitely a good thing. A law that would further empower the MMDA to perform its mandate is actually long overdue,” said Pialago, who serves as the agency’s spokesperson.
“I feel that MMDA needs this more than ever because of the pandemic, the metro LGUs need to be united with each decision they make,” she noted.
Although the MMDA is usually seen at the forefront of issues in the metropolis such as traffic, garbage, and urban discipline, it does not have the power to pass and enforce ordinances to solve these problems.
“Alam naman talaga ng ating mga mambabatas ang limitasyon ng MMDA. Kasi as of now, we are just a governing body (Our lawmakers know the limitations of the MMDA. Because as of now, we are just a governing body),” she said.
“Matagal na kaming limitado (We have long been limited) in terms of putting teeth on issuances and directives that we feel would help solve the various ills of the metropolis,” Pialago said.
The MMDA was formed in November 1975. It’s policy-making body is the Metro Manila Council, which is composed of the 17 mayors of the National Capital Region (NCR).
“At any rate the MMDA always works closely with the MMC, so the ordinances we will come up with under the eventual law will always be both in tune with what the local government units need and attuned to the times,” Pialago said.
Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando, a former MMDA chairman, is the author of HB No. 8770.