MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos is supportive of the establishment of the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA), Malacañang said Thursday.

In a press release, the Palace said Marcos expressed support for the MDDA during a situation briefing with regional directors as part of the President’s visit to Davao City.

Malacañang has not released details about what was discussed during the meeting as of posting time.

In April this year, former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11708 creating the MDDA, a special body mandated to coordinate and promote the socio-economic growth and sustainable development of Metropolitan Davao.

It will have jurisdiction over the cities of Davao, Panabo, Tagum, Island Garden in Samal, Digos, and Mati, as well as the municipalities of Sta. Cruz, Hagonoy, Padada, Malalag, Sulop, Carmen, Maco, Malita and Sta. Maria.

Among its services are development planning; transport management; solid waste disposal and management; flood control and sewerage management; urban renewal, zoning, land use planning and shelter services; health and sanitation and public safety.

The MDDA is designated to formulate plans aligned with the Davao Regional Development Plan, Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, and succeeding national and regional development plans.

It is also tasked to set policies concerning traffic, waste management and public safety and security for Metropolitan Davao; prepare and implement metropolitan-wide programs and projects; review and recommend policies to the Metropolitan Davao Development Council; install and administer a single ticketing system; and prescribe and collect service and regulatory fees.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Davao regional director Maria Lourdes Lim said the MDDA is currently in its “formative stages.”

She said the law still requires the completion of its implementing rules and regulations; the approval of plantilla for the human resource; and a budget.

To date, she said the Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has already approved a grant for the formulation of the master plan for Metropolitan Davao.

A survey team is expected to prepare a masterplan project for Metro Davao next week, she added.

Addressing Davao’s urban challenges

Meanwhile, Marcos also directed Davao’s Regional Development Council (RDC) to convene the Davao International Airport Authority Board (DIAAB) and operationalize programs which aim to address Davao’s urban challenges.

The President said he wanted the council to carry out programs addressing Davao’s urban issues.

Lim said the establishment of the MDDA will institutionalize the rapid organization of the Davao region through strategic and viable reforms, primarily toward regional cooperation.

Currently, she said the NEDA Davao Region is awaiting feedback from the Department of Budget and Management for the approval of a plan to hire personnel.

The IRR is already being drafted through the RDC and the location of the Metro Davao Development Council will be determined soon.

The Davao International Airport Authority Board, an important vehicle in implementing various projects, encountered delays partly because of the leadership transition. (PNA)