THE Senate approved a measure creating the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA) which seeks to address the growing needs of Davao City and nearby areas through various public services.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go co-sponsored House Bill No. 8930 under Senate Committee Report No. 293 which creates the MDDA that 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.
The senator thanked his colleagues for showing their support for the measure, saying that it is imperative to create the agency which can centralize and oversee the development efforts and initiatives that deal with the challenges faced by the Davao region.
“Considering the rapid urbanization of Davao City and increasing population of nearby cities, the passage of this measure is timely and will be appreciated by the Davaoeños,” said Go.
“Through MDDA, we can continue the promise made by dear President (Rodrigo) Duterte and your servant to provide a comfortable life for every Filipino,” he added.
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.
“Bukod pa sa aking mga binanggit, magiging tulay din po ang MDDA para mapagbuklod ang publiko at pribadong sektor dahil isa sa mga mandato nito ay ang pakikipagtulungan sa mga pribadong organisasyon, at sa mga businesses na nag-ooperate sa Metropolitan Davao,” Go pointed out.
Go, as author, had also filed his own version of the measure, Senate Bill No. 2157, in May last year. He hails from Davao City and served as aide of then Davao City mayor President Duterte for more than twenty years.
Rationalizing the need for the measure, Go noted that the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 adopts the policy of “national dispersion through regional agglomeration” to strengthen cities and stimulate them to expand their physical areas for planning.
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 four municipal mayors.
The MDDA 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 centers of development in Mindanao, 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.
“Kaya naman, muli akong nagpapasalamat sa aking kapwa mambabatas sa pagsuporta sa panukalang ito,” he added.
Prior to the pandemic, the Davao Region’s gross regional domestic product grew by 7% in 2019, according to the data from Philippine Statistics Authority. The region also accounts for 4.7% of the country’s entire GDP.
To promote Davao’s economy, Go also co-authored SB 1741, or “An Act Declaring the City of Davao as the Cacao and Chocolate Capital of the Philippines”, which seeks to further enhance the productivity of the Philippine cacao industry by recognizing the status of Davao as the country’s biggest producer of cacao.