MMDA chief backs proposal for an elected Metro Manila governor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2017 08:33 PM

MANILA - Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Tim Orbos is backing the proposal to elect a Metro Manila governor to oversee the region and solve its problems, among them traffic congestion. 

According to Orbos, it is difficult for an MMDA chief, who is an appointed official, to deal with all Metro Manila mayors who all occupy elected posts.

"It is really very difficult because, as it is, it has nothing to do with the chairman. But it has something to do with the powers the MMDA has," he told ANC on Wednesday.

Orbos explained that, in the current system, the MMDA is only acting as a coordinating body that cannot even create ordinances that directly address the metro's problems.

The MMDA chief believes now is a good time to discuss the proposal because of President Rodrigo Duterte's push for a federal government. 

"Metro Manila should be taken as a separate region. And, therefore, an elected authority must be there," he said.

Orbos also wants Congress to take the proposal further and give additional powers to whoever will serve as governor, particularly in franchising and housing. 

'No need for a federal government'

The party-list lawmaker behind the proposal agrees with Orbos, saying a Metro Manila governor should be supported by the principles of local autonomy. 

"He has a gigantic burden with very limited powers," Buhay party-list Lito Atienza told ANC." 

But Atienza said he does not agree that a federal form of government is needed in his proposal to elect a Metro Manila governor.

He said he is for a stronger implementation of the Code of Local Autonomy, as provided in the Constitution.

"Federalism is a very risky experiment," he said.