A veteran lawmaker has filed a bill seeking the creation of the Mega Cebu Development Authority (MCDA) to coordinate and promote socio-economic growth and sustainable development within Metro Cebu and the Province of Cebu.
House Bill No. 11 defines the term “Mega Cebu” as the platform for inter-local cooperation, public-private sector partnership, and local-regional-national-integration promoting the “big picture perspective,” that is, long term, multi-LGU (local government unit), metro-wide, and advancing collaborative planning and action on shared assets and common trans-boundary concerns towards a sustainable, smart, and inclusive Cebu.
It is anchored on and considers the island-wide or large provincial area or whole Cebu, and regional area or Visayas context, while starting out its on-ground engagement and intervention at the Metropolitan Cebu level.
Rep. Raul Del Mar (1st District, Cebu City), author of the proposed “Mega Cebu Development Authority Act” said that as provided under the 1987 Constitution, local government units (LGUs) may group themselves, coordinate or consolidate their services, efforts, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to them in accordance with law.
Del Mar said that stakeholders in Metropolitan Cebu and surrounding areas in the Province of Cebu envision and aspire for a “Wholesome, Advanced, Vibrant, Equitable, and Sustainable (W.A.V.E.S.) Cebu in 2050” through alignment of public and private sector efforts with the development strategy of competitiveness, livability, mobility, and metropolitan management and the implementation of a roadmap for sustainable urban development.
The bill provides that the MCDA shall comprise the core metropolitan area embracing the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, the cities of Danao, Talisay, Naga and Carcar, as well as the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Cordova, Minglanilla, and San Fernando, and such other cities and municipalities as shall be included from time to time as provided under the Act.
The bill declares it is the policy of the State to treat Metropolitan Cebu and the Province of Cebu as a special development and administrative area where certain policies, programs, and services affecting or involving the Metropolitan Cebu area and the Province of Cebu, on a metro-wide or multi-local government unit (LGU) level, are more efficiently and effectively planned, supervised, implemented, and coordinated by a development authority as created under the Act without prejudice to the autonomy of the affected LGUs.
Among the functions of the MCDA, which shall be subject to the approval of the LGUs concerned, are: 1) to formulate, coordinate, regulate and monitor the short, medium, and long-term plans, policies, and programs for the sustainable development and integration of the Metropolitan Cebu area and the Province of Cebu; 2) render services that have multi-LGU or metropolitan wide coverage and impact, transcending local geopolitical boundaries or entailing substantial expenditures; and 3) ensure that plans, policies, programs and services are pursued for the purpose of realizing the Mega Cebu 2050 Vision of a Wholesome, Advanced, Vibrant, Equitable, and Sustainable Cebu, executing the Mega Cebu development strategy of competitiveness, livability, mobility, and metropolitan management and implementing the Metropolitan Cebu Roadmap.
Furthermore, the MCDA shall ensure continuing research, evaluation, and monitoring to enhance plans, policies, programs, services, and efforts to anticipate or respond to the dynamic and changing realities and needs of metropolitan development; and perform other related functions to achieve the Mega Cebu 2050 Vision and the objectives of the MCDA.
The scope of the services of the MCDA shall include spatial and integrated planning and infrastructure planning and development; transport and traffic management; solid waste management; water, septage and sewerage, and storm water management; disaster risk reduction and management.
The governing and policy setting powers of the MCDA shall be vested in and exercised by the Mega Cebu Development Board (MCDB) which shall be composed of 15 ex-officio members and six regular members.
These MCDB members are the Governor of the Province of Cebu, ex-officio; Mayors of the seven cities of Metro Cebu, ex-officio; Mayors of the six municipalities of Metro Cebu, ex-officio; President of the League of Municipalities of Cebu, ex-officio; Five regular members from the private sector; three from the business sector and two from the general public; and the General Manager of the Authority, to be appointed by majority vote of the ex-officio members and regular members of the Board, who shall be the sixth private sector representative in the Board, and shall serve as the Chief Operating Officer of the MCDA.
Among the functions and powers of the MCDB which shall be subject to the approval of the LGUs concerned are : 1) to adopt and approve rules and regulations to govern the conduct of business of the Board; 2) approve the multi-LGU or metropolitan-wide short, medium, and long term development plans, policies, and programs, and such projects developed and packaged by its Research, Program, and Organizational Development –Technical, Operations, and Planning Office (RPOD-TOPO), the various committees, and respective project management offices; 3) promulgate policies and standards for metropolitan-wide application governing the delivery of services, prescription and collection of service and regulatory fees, and the imposition and collection of fines and penalties; and 4) create a Conflict Management Committee (CMC) to address any controversy primarily between and among members from the LGUs, national government agencies, private and business sectors, and civil society, among others.
The proposal seeks the creation of a Public Service Office (PSO) for each of the five initial focal areas of MCDA: Integrated Development and Spatial Planning (IDSP); Transport and Traffic Management (TTM); Solid Waste Management (SWM); Water Supply Management (WSM); and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM).
In addition, a Research, Program and Organizational Development – Technical, Operations, and Planning Office (RPOD-TOPO) which is necessary to deliver the MCDA’s mandate, provide support and management of operations.
The MCDA is mandated to establish institutional linkages and relations with appropriate government agencies and units and the private sector at the local, regional, national, and international levels concerning matters of import and relevance to Mega Cebu or the Metropolitan Cebu area.
Furthermore, the MCDA shall submit its development plans and investment programs to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for integration into the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) and public investment program.
The bill directs the National Government to appropriate an initial fund of P1 billion for the organizational and operating expenses of the Authority. Thereafter, the National Government shall allocate in the annual General Appropriations Act the funds needed by the MCDA for personnel, capital expenditures, maintenance and other operating expenses and for the continued implementation of the Act. (AF/LON)