‘Sidelined’ MMDA finds a defender
An administration congressman who used to head the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) criticized the government’s decision to strip the agency of its traffic management functions, saying it remains the only “institution” qualified for the job.
Instead of “dismembering” and sidelining the MMDA, the agency should be strengthened and given a bigger budget, Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando said.
“The MMDA should be the lead group because it is the only agency that has the capability, people, experience and know-how,” Fernando told reporters in a recent interview.
Last month, the MMDA was placed under the newly formed Interagency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) headed by the Department of Transportation.
The agency’s tasks were thus limited to solid waste management, urban renewal and flood control.
I-ACT was formed to streamline efforts in easing Metro Manila traffic. It was seen as an example of what could be done once President Duterte is granted emergency powers to solve the traffic problem.
But Fernando expressed concern over the fate of the MMDA once those powers have been lifted.
“What happens after the emergency? We may be creating more problems. What would happen to the institution if you would dismember it?” he asked.
Fernando earlier said the government doesn’t need emergency powers but only has to exercise its power of eminent domain and set up a contingency fund to compensate complainants in right-of-way cases.
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