Gasataya files bill creating Metropolitan Bacolod Development Authority
BACOLOD City Lone District Representative Greg Gasataya has filed House Bill No. 2688 seeking to establish the Metropolitan Bacolod Development Authority (MBDA) in Bacolod City.
Gasataya refiled the MBDA bill, after subsequent bills in 2016 and 2017 were not able to push through.
If passed into law, Bacolod City, Bago City, Silay City, Talisay City, and Murcia would be clustered into a special development and administrative unit that would be directed by the MBDA and under the supervision of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
According to the previous legislation, “The MBDA shall perform planning, monitoring, and coordinative functions.”
The 2017 bill indicated the MBDA would be involved in development planning, transport and traffic management, solid waste disposal and sewage management, urban renewal, zoning, health and sanitation, public safety, among other matters.
He said Bacolod is the 8th most populous and 6th most densely populated among the 12 metropolitan areas in the country.
“The common management of public needs in the local government units such as transportation and traffic management, waste regulation and management, health and sanitation, development planning, flood control and sewage, public safety, and land use planning will be a big help in avoiding the problems other metropolitan areas are facing now,” he added.
Gasataya further said Bacolod City has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and its peripheries have likewise become urban centers thus anticipating its central role in Metropolitan Bacolod is paramount.
National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Western Visayas earlier said that a masterplan for the proposed Metropolitan Bacolod is underway and NEDA Region VI is planning to include the proposal in the 2020 budget.
Gasataya said that he is in full support of the move from NEDA and that it will have positive impact on the economy of the entire province as it could translate to the erection of a center of tourism, manufacturing, information and communications technology, and business.
He said this will also be a big help in addressing woes on traffic congestion and waste management in the city.
For his part Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that he is hoping the bill will successfully be passed by the House of Representatives.
Lacson said the MBDA had long been talked about in the past. Lacson also compared the creation of the MBDA to the present Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the cities such as Bago, Silay, Talisay, and the town of Murcia will greatly benefit from the proposal.
“Its a turn in the right direction, and I do hope [Gasataya] will succeed in convincing his fellow lawmakers to support his bill,” Lacson added./map & TDE