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The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a measure which seeks to create the Metro Bataan Development Authority. The bill is consonant with the policy of the State to encourage local government units to group themselves to coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to their respective constituencies as provided under the Constitution, the Local Government Code of 1991, and other pertinent national laws.
Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III (2nd District, Bataan), principal author of the bill, explained that it has been the policy of the State that the territorial and political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable the local governments to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the attainment of national goals.
The proposal calls for the creation of the Metro Bataan Development Authority (MBDA) which shall be under the Office of the President of the Philippines. It mandates the creation of the Metro Bataan Development Council or Council which shall be the governing board and policymaking body of the MBDA.
The Council shall be composed of the Governor of Bataan who shall sit as ex-officio Chairperson of the Council and the Mayors of the City of Balanga, and the Municipalitis of Abucay, Bagac, Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Limay, Mariveles, Morong, Orani, Orion, Pilar, and Samal, as ex-officio members.
Furthermore, the provincial directors of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) shall be ex-officio members of the Council without voting rights.
The MBDA as the implementing arm of the Council shall perform the planning and implementation of policies, monitoring, and coordinative functions, and shall exercise regulatory and supervisory authority in the delivery of services to the entire province, or to multiple local government units (LGUs), or which entail expenditure beyond the capacity of any single LGU in the Province of Bataan.
One of the functions and powers of the MBDA is to formulate and regulate the implementation of approved medium and long term plans and programs for the delivery of province-wide services, land use and physical development within the province of Bataan, consistent with national development objectives and priorities.
Likewise, the MBDA shall undertake and manage approved plans and projects for the delivery of specific services under its jurisdiction, subject to approval of the Council.
It is also within the mandate of the MBDA to coordinate, monitor and adopt solutions to problems of implementation of such plans, programs and projects in the province, identify bottlenecks and adopt solutions to problems of implementation.
The MBDA shall, among other things, execute the policies, measures, and programs approved by the Council and be responsible for the efficient and effective day-to-day management of the operations of the MBDA.
The bill provides that the MBDA shall, in carrying out its functions, consult, coordinate and work closely with the LGUs, the DPWH, Department of Transportation (DOTr), and other national government agencies, accredited peoples organizations (POs), non-government organizations (NGOs) and the private sector operating in Bataan .
Other authors of the bill are Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, Reps. Leopoldo Bataoil, Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Juliette Uy, Christopher Co, Salvador Belaro, Ron Salo, Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Roger Mercado, Eugene Michael De Vera, Maria Valentina Plaza, Jesus Sacdalan, Karlo Alexei Nograles, Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, Mark Areon Sambar, Wilfredo Caminero, Allan Jesse Mangaoang, Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero, Reps. Abdullah Dimaporo, Alberto Ungab, Rogelio Neil Pepito Roque, Jocelyn Limkaichong, Carlos Roman Uybaretta, Cecilia Leonila Chavez, Rodel Batocabe, Mario Vittorio Marino, Antonio Tinio and Tom Villarin.