Amid call for abolition, MMDA says it doesn’t single out areas in clearing ops
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday underscored that it does not single out any area or local government in its clearing operations amid calls for its abolition.
On Monday, Manila Rep. Joel Chua called for the abolition of MMDA, accusing it of duplicating the work of national agencies and “disrupting the lives of Manila residents through MMDA operations involving demolitions of homes, clearing of roads and sidewalks and traffic management and enforcement.”
“Wala po kaming sini-single out na particular na city, unang una po marami kaming nare-receive na reklamo sa aming social media pages o sulat, marami rin pong nanggagaling sa malacañang na ineendorse sa’tin, hindi naman po namin pwedeng hindi aksyunan ‘yan,” said MMDA chair Romando Artes in a press briefing on Thursday.
(We do not single out any particular city, first of all, we receive many complaints on our social media pages or letters, there are also many endorsements from Malacañang, we have to act on that.)
Artes explained that the MMDA must report to Malacañang whenever the latter endorses a clearing operation.
“Hindi ko po alam bakit naha-highlight ang Manila dahil marami rin po tayong ginagawang operations sa Pasay, Baclaran, Libertad, Commonwealth,” said Artes.
(I don’t know why Manila is being highlighted because we also do many operations in Pasay, Baclaran, Libertad, and Commonwealth.)
“So hindi po masasabi na pinupuntirya natin ang isang partikular na lugar, lahat naman po kino-cover natin, depende po sa report at sa pangangailangan regardless kung saang city ito gagawin,” he added.
(So it can’t be said that we are targeting a specific area, we cover everything, it depends on the report and the need — regardless of which city it will be done.)
No animosity with Manila
Artes, in the same briefing, then bared that despite the call for abolition, MMDA has no animosity with the city of Manila.
“In fact, patuloy ‘yung pakikipag ugnayan namin with [Manila] Mayor Honey [Lacuna], maganda naman po ‘yung ating relasyon, nagtutulungan po kami,” said the MMDA chief.
(In fact, our relationship with Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna is good. We work together.)
“Sa totoo lang, katulong namin ang City of Manila sa mga clearing operations ng MMDA, so parang so far naman si Mayor Honey wala naman po siyang panawagan na abolition,” he added.
(Actually, the City of Manila helps us in the clearing operations of the MMDA, so it seems that Mayor Honey has not called for the abolition [of MMDA] so far.)
Meanwhile, Metro Manila Council president and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, during the same press briefing highlighted the importance of the MMDA and its contributions to the public.
He recalled the MMDA’s efforts to ensure that the public has access to COVID-19 vaccines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and its efforts in implementing the single-ticketing system, which he pointed out took 8 years.
“Dalawang halimbawa ‘yan ng kahalagahan ng MMDA, ako po bilang Mayor ng San Juan parating nakikipagugnayan sa MMDA, sa ano mang pangangailangan sa trapiko sa kaunlaran ng lungsod, maayos po ang aming relasyon,” said Zamora.
(Those are two examples of the importance of the MMDA, I, as the Mayor of San Juan, am always in contact with the MMDA, for any traffic needs in the development of the city, our relationship is good.)