Law­mak­ers push for ap­proval of MCDA

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Jose Santino S. Bu­na­chita RE­PORTER

Cebu con­gress­men yes­ter­day vowed to push for the ap­proval of the pro­posed house bill cre­at­ing the Mega Cebu De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (MCDA).

Dur­ing yes­ter­day’s Con­ver­gence of Mega Cebu lead­ers at the Ed­uardo Aboitiz De­vel­op­ment Stud­ies Cen­ter (EADSC), Cebu City North Dis­trict Rep. Raul Del Mar re­ported to the body that House Bill (HB) 6227 has al­ready passed the House Com­mit­tee on Rules.

“And we would say this was done in record time be­cause all con­gress­men were united as one. Af­ter the Com­mit­tee on Rules, it was re­ferred to the floor which al­ready ap­proved it. Now, it is at the Com­mit­tee on Ap­pro­pri­a­tions,” said Del Mar, the prin­ci­pal au­thor of HB 6227.

Un­der HB 6227, the MCDA shall com­prise “the core metropolitan area em­brac­ing the highly ur­ban­ized cities of Cebu, Man­daue, and Lapu-Lapu and the cities of Danao, Tal­isay, Naga and Car­car as well as the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of Con­so­la­cion, Liloan, Com­postela, Cor­dova, Minglanilla and San Fer­nando.”

Func­tions of the MCDA in­clude the for­mu­la­tion, co­or­di­na­tion, reg­u­la­tion, and mon­i­tor­ing of the short, medium, and longterm plans, poli­cies, and pro­grams for the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and in­te­gra­tion of the Metropolitan Cebu area.

This in­cludes in­vest­ment pro­grams for multi-LGU or metropolitan-wide ser­vices, land use, spa­tial and phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment us­ing strong, co­her­ent gov­ern­ing rules and shared vi­sion, with fo­cus on in­te­grated sys­tems for ur­ban de­vel­op­ment.

The bill was filed in 2015. Its co-au­thors in­clude for­mer 6th Dis­trict Rep. and now Man­daue City Mayor Luigi Quisumb­ing, for­mer 5th Dis­trict Rep. Joseph Du­rano, 1st Dis­trict Rep. Ger­ald An­thony Gul­las, Cebu City South Dis­trict Rep. Ro­drigo Abel­lanosa, Lapu-Lapu City Dis­trict Rep. Aileen Radaza, 3rd Dis­trict Rep. Gwen­dolyn Gar­cia, 4th Dis­trict Rep. Ben­hur Sal­im­ban­gon, and 2nd Dis­trict Rep. Wil­fredo Caminero.

Del Mar said they hope that the Com­mit­tee on Ap­pro­pri­a­tions will al­ready ap­prove the bill by June, be­fore Congress goes on break so that when Congress re­sumes its ses­sions in July, it could be spon­sored on the floor.

“Be­cause of the joint co­op­er­a­tion of the con­gress­men on this, we won’t have a hard time get­ting it done,” he said.

And while he ad­mits that Cebu con­gress­men can­not guar­an­tee the same “swift­ness” in ap­proval at the Se­nate level, Del Mar said they will still help in push­ing it at the Up­per House.

Gul­las and 7th Dis­trict Rep. Peter John Calderon, who were both present dur­ing yes­ter­day’s meet­ing, echoed Del Mar’s po­si­tion .

Con­vince

Mean­while, Del Mar ex­pressed con­cern over the con­tin­ued pro­nounce­ments of Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña that the city will not be in­volved in the ef­forts of Mega Cebu.

He said that the late Ra­mon Aboitiz Foun­da­tion Inc. (RAFI) Pres­i­dent and Metro Cebu De­vel­op­ment and Co­or­di­nat­ing Board (MCDCB) co-chair­per­son Roberto Aboitiz al­ready an­tic­i­pated this and had planned to talk to Os­meña and even ar­range a spe­cial brief­ing for him at City Hall.

The mayor agreed but the meet­ing never pushed through as Aboitiz passed away last April.

“We hope things will be bet­ter be­cause we need unity, not only among the leg­is­la­tors but among the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units,” Del Mar said, adding that he was able to meet with Os­meña last week and gave him a copy of the HB 6227.

He said he asked the mayor to go over the bill and give his sug­ges­tions or com­ments.

Del Mar lamented that the pro­posal for the cre­ation of the MCDA has failed at least twice be­fore be­cause one or two con­gress­men or may­ors did not sup­port it.

Ear­lier this week, Os­meña re­it­er­ated that the city will not get in­volved with Mega Ce bu af­fairs un­less its of­fi­cers are elected by the peo­ple.

“But we will not take it as the fi­nal de­ci­sion of Mayor Tom. We will con­tinue to reach out and dis­cuss this with him, with the new chair­man and pres­i­dent, so we can iron this out and we can have unity and get this done with­out any more hitches,” Del Mar said.

CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MEN­DOZA

Mega Cebu lead­ers com­posed of stake­hold­ers, Cebu law­mak­ers and lo­cal lead­ers con­duct a con­ver­gence meet­ing to get an up­date on the progress of House Bill 6227 cre­at­ing the Mega Cebu De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity. The meet­ing was held at the RAFI build­ing.

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